Now, JioPhone users can use Aarogya Setu: Details here
India's COVID-19 contact-tracer, Aarogya Setu, is now being rolled-out on JioPhones, the low-cost 4G-enabled feature phones sold by Reliance Industries. The roll-out of the application comes as part of the Indian government's effort to make it available to as many people as possible, including those who do not have access to smartphones. Here's all you need to know about it.
According to Reuters, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has made an optimized KaiOS-specific version of Aarogya Setu available for 5 million (50 lakh) JioPhones in India. The app works just like the already-available Android and iOS versions - by registering close contact between people using Bluetooth and location data and alerting them when one of them tests positive for COVID-19.
That said, it must be noted that this is just the first leg of the roll-out. The app is expected to be released for other brand's KaiOS-powered feature phones, like those offered by Nokia and Alcatel. Overall, more than 11 crore (110 million) Indians use JioPhones and these KaiOS-powered devices, and the app will be made available on all of them.
Aarogya Setu is already active on more than 10 crore Android and iOS smartphones in India. The inclusion of JioPhones and other feature phones will expand the reach of the app and further support the country's contact-tracing efforts to contain COVID-19. In fact, the number of Android/iOS downloads is also expected to grow, given that there are 40-50 crore smartphones in the country.
Along with making Aarogya Setu available, the Indian government has also been pushing it aggressively across different sections of the population. The government has already made the app mandatory for public/private sector employees returning to their work as well as train passengers. Separately, Noida Police is trying to enforce the installation of the app for people moving on the road.