New Delhi: Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said on Saturday that the government's COVID contact tracing app Aarogya Setu has alerted the government about more than 650 hotspots across the country which could have been missed otherwise.

Kant also claimed that the app, which has now been made mandatory for all government employees, alerted about over 300 emerging hotspots which helped the government take swift action.

Since its launch on April 2 this year, over 96 million people have registered with the Aarogya Setu health care application, which has become the fastest mobile app to reach 50 million users globally and will be one of the fastest entrants to the 100 million club.

Aarogya Setu has helped the government with its twin objective -- "whom to test" and "where to test more" in its battle against COVID-19.

Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, speaking to news agency ANI, said, "For instance, in Maharashtra, the engine identified over 60 hotspots across 18 districts. Across the nation, the engine predicted about 130 hotspots at the sub-post office level between April 13 to April 20. Later, these forecasted hotspots were declared as "real hotspots" by the Union health ministry some 3 to 17 days after being alerted by Aarogya Setu.

This way, the engine helped the government with "whom to test" and "where to test more" against the coronavirus."

"The Aarogya Setu app alerted the government about more than 650 hotspots across the country and over 300 emerging hotspots which could have been missed otherwise. It gives accurate forecasts of hotspots and it is also preventing the origin of newer hotspots.

The engine has generated incredible insights and impact with precise projections of locality, direction and velocity of the spread of infection," he said.

The Niti Aayog chief stated that so far around 69 million people have taken the self-assessment test, an adoption rate of more than 71%, out of which, over 3.4 million people have declared themselves as unwell since they were showing one of more than three symptoms. With this, a dedicated team of over 70 healthcare workers have reached out to people who displayed two or more than two symptoms of COVID-19.

"This is how a dedicated team of more than 70 healthcare workers have reached out to about 650,000 people who showed two or more symptoms. More than 16,000 people have been administered follow-up tele-consultation by doctors," he said. 

At least 12,500 users, who downloaded Aarogya Setu, have tested positive for COVID-19 so far.

The Bluetooth based interaction data has led to around 60,000 people being assessed and alerted at various degrees of risk which include self-isolation, quarantine and testing.

About 8,500 people have been tested from the set of people assessed as high-risk and of which more than 23% have tested COVID-19 positive so far giving extraordinary testing accuracy.

The efficacy of testing recommended by Aarogya Setu is much higher than any testing protocol anywhere in the world and it manifolds higher than the current overall efficacy of testing in India, Kant said. The Aarogya Setu app is available in 12 different languages and is soon set to expand to all 22 scheduled Indian languages, the Niti Aayog CEO added.