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In fresh guidelines, Centre climbs down on 'mandatory' use of Aarogya Setu in offices

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New Delhi, May 17: The government seems to have eased earlier restrictions it placed on mandatory usage of the Aarogya Setu contact tracing app in office workplaces and within containment zones.

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"The Aarogya Setu mobile application is a powerful tool built by Government of India to facilitate quick identification of persons infected by COVID-19, or at risk of being infected, thus acting as a shield for individuals and the community, " th guidelines said.

"With a view to ensure safety in offices and work places, employers on best effort basis should ensure that the Aarogya Setu application is installed by all employees having compatible mobile phones," it added.

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"District authorities have been asked to advise individuals to install the Aarogya Setu application on compatible mobile phones and regularly update their health status on the app. This will facilitate timely provision of medical attention to those individuals who are at risk," it further said.

In its guidelines issued on May 1, the ministry stated that the app would be "mandatory for all employees, both private and public" and placed the onus of compliance on the owner of a business or head of the organisation.

"Use of Arogya Setu app shall be made mandatory for all employees, both private and public. It shall be the responsibility of the Head of the respective organizations to ensure 100% coverage of this app among the employees," the MHA guidelines released at the start of this month said.

Though the latest advisory also mentions the name of the COVID-19 tracker, it merely state that relevant district authorities "may advise" individuals to install Aarogya Setu on compatible mobile phone apps.

The term 'mandatory' has been removed from the guidelines. However, the app is still required for air travel, train travel and even for most central government employees.

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