The Home Ministry has clarified on making the coronavirus tracker app Aarogya Setu mandatory for all private and government employees across the country.
Anyone attending office anywhere should have the app on their mobile from May 4, the day the two-week extended lockdown kicks in, the government has said.
The heads of companies will be held responsible if their employees are found without the app. Everyone in a COVID-19 containment zone will also have to download the app.
Those working from home, however, need not use the app. The centre has set a target of achieving 30 crore app downloads in the next few weeks.
The Aarogya Setu app was introduced as a voluntary one in early April, and has seen massive growth in usage. Its use has been encouraged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and even educational bodies like the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
The Home Ministry's guidelines for the app also say that the authorities will have to ensure that Aarogya Setu app is used by everyone in containment zones. "The local authorities shall ensure 100 per cent coverage of Aarogya Setu app among residents of containment zone," the Home Ministry said in an order.
Some experts have raised privacy concerns over the app. They say the app needs far more data than what is necessary and falls shorts of the standards set by contact-tracing apps of other countries.
Use of GPS-based location data is a major concern, they say. The government think tank NITI Aayog has defended the use of the app and said the GPS data helps in finding new hotspots. It said the location data is not used by the app on an individual basis, but on an aggregated basis.
India recorded the biggest single-day jump of 2,411 coronavirus cases today, taking the total to 37,776, the Health Ministry said. It said 1,223 deaths linked to the highly infectious COVID-19 have been reported so far. Seventy-one deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.