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Home / India News / Aarogya Setu app rule for private offices, not for domestic helps: Official

Aarogya Setu app rule for private offices, not for domestic helps: Official

Officials said the government wants to encourage everyone with a smartphone to download the Aarogya Setu app. “But the harsh reality is that not everyone has a smartphone,” a second official said.

india Updated: May 09, 2020 20:21 IST
Neeraj Chauhan | Posted by Arpan Rai
Neeraj Chauhan | Posted by Arpan Rai
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A man uses Aarogya Setu app on his mobile phone in New Delhi, India. India has 1.2 billion mobile phones; only 350 million are smartphones.
A man uses Aarogya Setu app on his mobile phone in New Delhi, India. India has 1.2 billion mobile phones; only 350 million are smartphones.(AP)

The Union home ministry’s lockdown guidelines that mandate employers to ensure that their employees have the Aarogya Setu mobile app does not apply to domestic helps, a senior Union home ministry official said on Saturday.

The official said this provision was clearly designed for public and private offices.

Officials said the government wants to encourage everyone with a smartphone to download the Aarogya Setu app. “But the harsh reality is that not everyone has a smartphone,” a second official said.

India has 1.2 billion mobile phones; only 350 million are smartphones.

The home ministry official’s clarification to the question came following multiple complaints on social media and elsewhere about housing societies barring domestic helps from resuming work unless they install the mobile application.

Many can’t afford one. One of them said that there was a smartphone at home but that was being used by her son to attend online classes at home.

Office-bearers at the housing societies have cited the provision in the home ministry’s National Directive for Covid-19 Management to insist on the mobile app.

According to the national directive for work places, “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 organisations to ensure 100% coverage of this app among the employees”.

Officials said domestic helps did not fall under this category. If they did, then all households who employ one would be required to comply with all other provisions listed for work places including use of thermal scanning devices, repeated sanitation of the premises through the day and earmarking quarantine areas to isolate employees showing symptoms.

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