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arogya setu
News, Top Stories

Aarogya Setu App: Government introduces technology to combat virus

PM Modi has announced the app targeted to locate people who have been contracted with the virus. 

The app has been developed by the National Informatics Centre, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. The App uses Bluetooth connectivity and location to contract tracing of the individual. Bluetooth helps the people to remain far from the containment area while location helps the Government to get access to the people who have been contracted by the virus.

It also has a chatbot built in it which takes down your symptoms to check which risk zone you are in. Individuals with high risk will be connected through the toll free 1075 line and will be taken to the nearest testing centre. 

The Prime Minister has urged various social media platform to promote the app saying that we have to take the right precautions and fight this pandemic. Aarogya Setu is an important step in that direction. By leveraging technology, it provides crucial information that will help users take necessary precautions. As the number of users increase, so will its effectiveness.

The app saw over 10 million downloads and is mulled to be used as an e-way passage amidst lockdown in the nation.

WhatsApp
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Advisory issued for WhatsApp Users and Admins during the Covid-19 Pandemic [READ ADVISORY]

Predicaments like the one the world is currently facing, give rise to an array of fake news and misinformation, which is used by multiple groups to promote their own interests. Such information is commonly shared and forwarded however it does have serious consequences and largely influences public sentiment.  

With a sudden surge in the magnitude of sources that are now being used for procuring information, it is becoming all the more difficult to look for authentic and reliable news. During times of crisis, it is often seen that social media platforms are exploited by users to propagate fake news and misinformation. These platforms are also immensely used by people to promote their communal and political interests. While it is a difficult task to identify such incorrect data, it is also a herculean task to regulate its promulgation. This increases the responsibility on users and admins to ensure that the information being circulated in their social media sphere is authentic and is in no way part of this propaganda. 

The Cyber Cell of Maharashtra Police has released an advisory to be followed by WhatsApp users and Admins during the Covid-19 Pandemic to regulate the spread of fake news and misinformation that might have the repercussion of inciting panic and hate among classes of the population. While the advisory in itself, is not binding in nature, it does list down several statutory offences one might be liable under if caught spreading misinformation, promoting enmity between groups, making assertions prejudicial to national integration and so on. 

The guidelines laid down in the advisory are simply a set of precautions that can be followed in an age where social media is being so actively and vastly used. An adherence to these guidelines will also save users and admins from any kind of statutory liability that they might otherwise be legally responsible for.  

A train standing on the outskirts
News, Top Stories

Non-AC ICF Coaches turned into Isolation Cabins

As part of COVID-19 preparedness, it has been decided by Indian Railways that it would be prepared to modify 20000 coaches into quarantine/ isolation coaches to augment the quarantine facilities being created in the country. 

In this connection consultations were held with Armed Forces Medical Services, Medical Department of various Zonal Railways, and Ayushman Bharat, Ministry of Health, Government of India. Five Zonal Railways have already prepared prototypes for the quarantine/ isolation coaches. 

These modified 20000 coaches can accommodate upto 3.2 lac possible beds for isolation needs. Work on modification of 5000 coaches, which are to be converted initially into quarantine/ isolation coaches has already started. These 5000 coaches would be having capacity to accommodate upto 80000 beds. One coach is expected to have 16 beds for isolation. 

Only Non-AC ICF sleeper coaches are being planned to be utilized for conversion into Quarantine/ isolation coaches. One Indian style toilet is to be converted into a bathing room. It is to be equipped with bucket, mug and soap dispenser. Taps with lift type handle would be provided in washbasins. Similar tap to be provided at proper height so that bucket can be filled.

Supreme Court of India
News, Top Stories

24 Hours portal for real time information: SC to Centre

The Supreme Court asked the Centre set up within 24 hours a portal for disseminating real time information on the pandemic to counter the panic being spread through fake news. 

The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, asked the Centre to prevent migration of people due to coronavirus. “Panic will destroy more lives than the virus”, the top court said and asked the Centre to get trained counsellors and community leaders of all faiths to calm down the migrants, who are kept in shelter homes across the country. 

It asked the Centre to prevent migration of people and take care of their needs of food, shelter, nourishment and medical aid. It was also stated that these shelters should be run by volunteers and not the police, and there should be no use of force and intimidation. 

The Centre told the apex court that the suggestion by a petitioner to sprinkle water and chemicals on migrants to sanitise them does not work scientifically and is not the right way.

On the role of the High Courts, the Top Court, which had refused to restrain High Courts from taking up the issue of migrants, said they may monitor the issue more closely. It, however, asked the Centre to tell government lawyers to inform high courts about the orders passed by the apex court.

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