Apple, Google COVID-19 contract tracing: India says no, thanks


Apple and Google have built a COVID-19 contact tracing system that the Indian government has refused to use in its official app for contact tracing of novel coronavirus cases, according to a report in The Times of India.

According to an explainer on the NDTV website, “Basically, Apple and Google have provided the base framework on iOS and Android to enable the COVID-19 exposure notifications, however that framework in itself is useless with an app to utilize that”.

The Times of India report, published Monday, said: “Google and Apple are understood to have contacted” the Indian government for linking APIs (application program interfaces) to the Aarogya Setu, India’s official COVID-19 contact tracing app.

The newspaper quoted an unnamed government official as saying that Aarogya Setu has an in-built contact tracing API and thus may not require the Apple-Google system.

The APIs were included in updates to Android and iOS. Many users in India were alarmed to find it on their phones.

India Sunday recorded another record 24-hour spike in coronavirus cases, a total of 19,459.

The total number of coronavirus cases in India was at 5,48,318 Monday morning. According to the government data, 380 people died of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, taking the country’s total death toll from the disease to 16,475.

The number of active cases was 2,10,120, while the recovery rate stands was at 58.67 percent.

Coronavirus cases doubled in Bengaluru in just five days, from 1,556 Tuesday to 3,419 by Sunday evening, Karnataka medical education minister K. Sudhakar said Monday.

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