SUBHASH CHANDRA AGRAWAL, DELHI
My wife and I, both aged around 70 years, have not been out of our home in Old Delhi ever since the janata curfew was imposed on March 22 in the country before imposition of the nationwide lockdown. We are assisted by our neighbours in delivering us milk and vegetables. We have not come in contact with anyone. But all of a sudden, in the evening on July 12, the Arogya Setu app, which is a COVID-19 contact tracing app developed by the Ministry of Electronics and IT and detects and tracks the user’s movement with the help of GPS and bluetooth sensors and sends out a notification if they come in contact with infected people, depicted an orange line on our mobile numbers suggesting a high risk and that we both have been in contact with some corona-affected person. Further, the data revealed that we came in contact with the corona-affected just after midnight at 12.02 am for 443 long minutes when we were fast asleep and our house locked from inside. However, from the morning till afternoon of July 12, the app on our mobile phones had depicted a green line indicating that we were safe. If the satellite caught some passer-by in the street as corona-affected, then the orange line should have been depicted in the morning itself. With all possible precautions taken, such depiction of orange line, suggesting high risk, has created panic among us. The Arogya Setu app should be further improved so that the mobile number of the corona-affected person appears on the app of the contacted person. Furthermore, the duration of display of the orange or yellow line should be reduced to 24 hours in case the corona-affected person has not been in constant contact. Undoubtedly Arogya Setu is a very important app but its over-sensitivity should be checked to effectively avoid unnecessary panic amongst its users, who might not be in contact with the corona-affected persons.