Aarogya Setu toll-free IVRS facility launched for feature phone users

The Indian government’s Aarogya Setu application for contact tracking has been made madantory by the government for all government and private company employees across the country. While the legality of such controversial decision is being challenged, the Ministry of Health has now launched the Aarogya Setu Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) for those using feature phones.

The IVRS-based system will be available for all citizens throughout the country. To use the service, the user can just give a missed call to “1921” and they will then receive a call back requesting inputs regarding health.

The data will then be added to the Aarogya Setu database and the details will be processed for sending alerts via SIM for status and further instructions.

As per the latest data, the app has been downloaded by almost 9 crore users in India. The data were released in the 14th meeting related to the app where the Ministers discussed various aspects pertaining to the “performance, impact and benefits” of the Aarogya Setu application.

Apart from announcing this new IVRS feature, a standalone app named AarogyaSetu Mitr has been launched which can provide free consultancy from doctors on the CVOID-19. It also offers ancillary services like home collection of samples for Diagnostics and Medicine delivery at home. 

This all comes at a time when there are concerns regarding the privacy issues with the application. Security expert Elliot Alderson on Tuesday claimed that “a security issue has been found” in the Aarogya Setu app and that “privacy of 90 million Indians is at stake”. However, the government is rejecting all the claims to data security and privacy issues.