COVID in Punjab: GPS trackers may be used for home quarantined people
The trackers fitted with a SIM card can be integrated with the state government's COVA app for tracking those home quarantined people who defy guidelines, an official said.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Punjab government is mulling procurement of Global Positioning System (GPS) trackers for keeping a check on those flouting COVID-19 home quarantine guidelines.
The trackers fitted with a SIM card can be integrated with the state government's COVA app for tracking those home quarantined people who defy guidelines, putting the lives of others in danger, an official said on Wednesday.
The COVA Punjab (Corona Virus Alert) App has been developed by the state government to provide people with preventive care information and other government advisories.
“This is a lockable GPS based tracker put on wrists. It will send an alert if a home quarantined person violates the guidelines by going outside,” Punjab Special Secretary cum Chief Executive Officer, E-Governance, Ravi Bhagat said on Wednesday.
“It is reusable after the completion of 14 days of quarantined period,” he further said.
Bhagat said the issue of procuring GPS-based trackers was at the discussion stage and the health department is yet to take a decision on this. Punjab has around 20,000 active home quarantine cases as of now. Among them are people who have returned from other states and many who are symptomatic.
As per guidelines, home quarantined people are required to download the COVA app on their mobile phones so as to track their movements.
But there have been reports that many home quarantined people do not install COVA app, while some who download the app do not keep GPS and Bluetooth on and a few keep their mobile phones at homes and then go outside in order to hide their movements.
The state government had last month raised the fine for violating home quarantine guidelines from Rs 500 to 2,000 as part of its measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.