The Aarogya Setu app, government’s flagship app, uses Bluetooth and GPS location data. It is designed to keep a user informed in case s/he has crossed paths with someone who has tested positive
The Aarogya Setu app, government’s flagship app, uses Bluetooth and GPS location data. It is designed to keep a user informed in case s/he has crossed paths with someone who has tested positive|Representational image
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Assam: Chaos in Tinsukia as Aarogya Setu app shows ‘positive’ case

On Saturday, several users of Aarogya Setu app found a ‘positive’ COVID-19 case displayed on their mobile screens in Assam’s Tinsukia, causing many to panic

Rishu Kalantri

Rishu Kalantri

Tinsukia: Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi pushed for the Aarogya Setu mobile application, Assam's Tinsukia became a talking point after the app showed one "positive" case.

On Saturday, several persons in this upper Assam town found the app installed on their mobile showing an information "1 Aarogya Setu user diagnosed COVID-19 positive in last 28 days within radius of 1 km", causing many to panic. In some mobile phones, the app showed a positive case within a radius of merely 500 metres.

Aarogya Setu App showing a COVID case within 5 km radius
Aarogya Setu App showing a COVID case within 5 km radius EastMojo image

"Is there any positive case in Tinsukia?" a resident of Tinsukia, who wished not to be named, asked EastMojo.

On enquiring why was he asking this all of a sudden, he said that the Aarogya Setu app was showing a positive case within 1 km radius.

Manish Sharma, another local resident, had the same query. He was not alone. There was a flood of similar query, in a tizzy, going around in a few WhatsApp groups.

“I’m a bit worried because Aarogya Setu is such an important app and how can it make a mistake?” said another local, requesting anonymity. “In some phones, it showed 1 km and in others showed a different distance.”

Another user, Sandeep Bhardwaj, said that the app in his mobile also showed a positive case alert within a radius of 1 km. "I called the number given in the app, and after checking, they informed me that it is false."

On Saturday, the Aarogya Setu app showed a positive COVID-19 case within 1 km radius in Tinsukia
On Saturday, the Aarogya Setu app showed a positive COVID-19 case within 1 km radius in Tinsukia EastMojo image

The news came as a surprise to the district administration which was caught off guard of the Aarogya Setu app showing a positive case.

Talking to EastMojo, deputy commissioner of Tinsukia Bhaskar Pegu said, "I have re-confirmed with health and other concerned officials. There is no positive case in Tinsukia district till now."

"As regards the screenshot image, it is a fake news as it appears. Further details can be available only after detailed investigation," he added.

Aarogya Setu, the government's flagship app that uses Bluetooth and GPS location data, is designed to keep a user informed in case s/he has crossed paths with someone who has tested positive.

Since some states have started the exercise of bringing back their stranded citizens from other cities and areas, its importance has only been highlighted more.

On Saturday night, 3 more persons, including an ambulance driver from Mumbai who drove two others, tested positive for coronavirus in Assam's Jorhat district taking the total number of cases in Assam to 62, of which 27 cases are active.

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