India’s new coronavirus contact tracing app will be mandatory for all workers

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India has mandated that all public and private sector employees use a government-backed Bluetooth tracing app and maintain social distancing in offices as New Delhi begins easing some of its lockdown measures in lower-risk areas.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government on Friday said India — the country with the largest number of people in lockdown — would extends its nationwide control measures for another two weeks from Monday to battle the spread of the coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 illness, but allow “considerable relaxations” in lower-risk districts.

As part of its efforts to fight the deadly virus, India last month launched the app Aarogya Setu — meaning Health Bridge — a Bluetooth and GPS-based system developed by the country’s National Informatics Centre. The app alerts users who may have come in contact with people later found to be positive for COVID-19 or deemed to be at high risk.

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“Use of Aarogya Setu shall be made mandatory for all employees, both private and public,” India’s Ministry of Home Affairs said in a notification late on Friday.

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It will be the responsibility of the heads of companies and organizations “to ensure 100% coverage of this app among the employees,” the ministry said.

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