State to ‘geofence’ people in home quarantine

In the wake of several complaints regarding home quarantined persons moving around without following restrictions, thereby increasing the risk of spreading COVID-19 infection, the State government is all set to start “geofencing” such patients.

Announcing this at a press conference here on Thursday, Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar said apart from this, a beat police will also make visits to the houses of the quarantined persons.

Jawaid Akhtar, Additional Chief Secretary (Health and Family Welfare and Medical Education), said geofencing is a location-based service in which an app or other software uses GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi or cellular data to trigger a pre-programmed action when a mobile device or RFID tag enters or exits a virtual boundary set up around a geographical location, known as a geofence. “It is similar to mobile tracking. This is essential now to ensure that the quarantined persons, who do not follow restrictions, are disciplined,” he said.

While home quarantine stamping of all international passengers began on Thursday, the Union government is also stopping arrival of international flights at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru and Mangaluru International Airport from March 22, he said.

The Cabinet sub-committee and special task force set up to review the COVID-19 situation in the State met on Thursday and discussed the importance of social distancing at length. “Strict directions will be issued to all religious institutions and other authorities concerned to ensure there are no marriages, mass gatherings, jathres, santes and even prayer congregations held in their jurisdiction. Despite directions by the Chief Minister, it is unfortunate that mass gathering and marriages where people are assembling in large numbers are going on, the Minister said.

Approval sought

Responding to the need for more testing centres in the State, the government has sought Indian Council of Medical Research’s permission to start testing in private laboratories. Institutions such as IISc., Biocon, and Manipal Institute of Virology have expressed willingness to start COVID tests.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 12:31:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/state-to-geofence-people-in-home-quarantine/article31111791.ece

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