The government of India has mandated all central government employees to download the Aarogya Setu app on their mobile phones “immediately”, according to an office memorandum issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT). This includes all officers and staff (including outsourced staff), and concerns all central ministries and departments. Orders “may” also be issued to autonomous and statutory bodies, and PSUs attached to them. Shambhu Nath Choudhary, Media Director in the Ministry of Home Affairs, confirmed the development. ANI first tweeted the update.
Employees are allowed to come to work only if the app shows “safe” or “low risk” status. If the app shows “moderate” or “high risk”, employees are forbidden from coming to work, and have been instructed to self-isolate for 14 days or until their status becomes “safe” or “low risk”.
The order does not mention the need to actually get tested for COVID-19 anywhere, and completely relies on contact tracing done by the app. The app’s effectiveness is also questionable given that a number of government departments do not allow employees to carry smartphones in sensitive areas. All ministries and departments are also expected to send a report on action taken to G. Jayanthi, the DOPT joint secretary.