Written by 7:50 AM News

Eligible people likely to get option to sign up for jabs on Aarogya Setu

An Aadhaar-based enrolment process is likely to be rolled out for the elderly and those with comorbidities on the CoWIN platform, which is set to be integrated with the widely used Aarogya Setu app.

According to documents accessed by HT, the CoWIN platform will allow the public to access its limited features—only those required for enrolment and vaccination and not the complex back-end operations—on the Aarogya Setu app. The app—the single window interface for health-related updates related to Covid-19 —has been downloaded by more than 170 million users. This would now be used in the world’s largest vaccination programme.

The Centre may allow self-registration by the elderly and those with comorbidities on the Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network (CoWIN) platform for faster and easier enrolment of people to receive a shot of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The self-registration process, experts maintain, is to ensure foolproof identification of deserving candidates for receiving the vaccine.

The other and more complicated functions of CoWIN is to digitally integrate various steps, right from the time the vaccine is out from the factory and till it is administered to a recipient. It will monitor the movement of each dose of vaccine at the appropriate temperature.

For the registration of beneficiaries, a unique health ID will be generated for each individual. “Those who don’t have Aadhaar or can’t do Aadhaar authentication with OTP will be verified through mobile numbers and taking photographs,” said the note.

“There is no need to download any new app for vaccination purposes. This module will be activated soon, once the vaccination of frontline health workers is completed. Along with this a feedback module through Rapid Assessment System (RAS) developed by MeitY is also being integrated,” says an internal government note.

A guideline to the states adds that the CoWIN portal (cowin.gov.in) might also be used for self-registration of the general public. The platform will also be used for creation of state and district level admins, and the database of vaccinators and supervisors, and for management of material relevant to Covid-19 vaccination and its allocation.

The government had so far conducted door-to-door surveys for contact tracing and rigorously tracked Covid-19 patients for months last year in its battle against the pandemic. Aarogya Setu and hospital data provided ready-made information on the age or comorbidities of millions of Indians. Aarogya Setu, the mobile application to help track COVID-19 patients, has alerted around 1.4 lakh users in the country about a possible risk of infection due to proximity to infected persons, an official said on Monday, even as the government mulled making this app mandatory for air passengers.

The official also said the government’s official app helped generate information about 697 potential hotspots in the country. Ajay Sawhney, Chairman of the Empowered Group 9 which deals with Technology and Data Management in the fight against COVID-19, said the app will soon reach a user base of 10 crore, as he gave an update on the use of the tool that enables better ‘contact tracing’-–one of the key elements in fighting infectious diseases using a mobile phone’s Bluetooth and GPS capabilities. Around 9.8 crore people have downloaded this app and it is available in 12 languages, Sawhney told a media briefing. The application has created a world record in being the fastest app to reach five crore users, he said.

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