Published on March 27th, 2020 📆 | 4980 Views ⚑0
Corona Kavach Is Government’s New Location-Based COVID-19 Tracking App: How It Works
Corona Kavach, a COVID-19 tracker, has been quietly released by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in association with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MHFW). Currently in its beta stage, the Corona Kavach app uses a person’s smartphone data to track their location and alert if they are at risk of being exposed to the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). As per the official description, the app aims to provide information about coronavirus and capture information. The app is only available for Android right now.
The Corona Kavach is available for download via Google Play Store. It tracks a user’s location in one-hour intervals and tells if they have come in contact with a person tested positive for COVID-19.
Here’s how Corona Kavach works
Upon opening the Corona Kavach app, it shows a screen which says that app has been developed by MeitY and MHFW.
Further, it tells users how the Corona Kavach application works. “We help you take the right steps in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic,” the app screen says.
The next screen shows a disclaimer about the community tracking feature of the Corona Kavach app, which is used to alert if someone has come in close contact with a COVID-19 positive user. The app says that the location data stays offline and is only shared when there is a potential risk.
After the disclaimers, Corona Kavach asks for permission to access location and files on a user’s phone.
Upon agreeing, it asks users to register using their mobile number, which is verified via a one-time-password (OTP).
After the setup, the app shows a message that says that it is saving data on your mobile. It also says that Corona Kavach app tells a person their status, which is categorised in green, orange, yellow, and red colours:
Green – All good (Safe)
Orange – See a Doctor (Potential risk)
Yellow – Quarantine (at risk)
Red – Infected
The pop-up message on startup screen also says that the app will automatically check a user’s status every hour and caution them via notifications if they meet or have met in the past, with anyone tested positive for COVID-19.
It also recommends people to let the app run in the background, in order to allow it to keep tracking their status.
The homepage for the app shows statistics about the Coronavirus pandemic. There are three buttons on the bottom – Upload, Corona Kavach (logo), and Options.
Clicking the Corona Kavach logo will start the one-hour countdown, which is the period the app will track your whereabouts for. Upon completion, it will show a user’s status in green, orange, yellow or red, further suggesting the steps they should take. Here is how it looks while tracking:
The ‘upload’ option on Corona Kavach gives an option to upload a unique ID. Now, this Unique ID is something that has not been disclosed throughout the procedure of setting up the application. Hence, the usecase cannot be determined.
The Options button opens a separate page, which shows a breathing exercise and a questionnaire options, along with the option of logging out. The breathing exercise is for making sure a user doesn’t have breathing problems.
The questionnaire, on the other hand, asks several health-related questions. Upon filling the questionnaire, the Corona Kavach app asks users to stay safe and follow precautions. Hence, we think that this Corona Kavach questionnaire could be used for larger research work.
Since this is a beta version of the Corona Kavach app and there are not a lot of users, it is difficult to tell how successful this app can be.