No observing quarantine? App to track, alert Mohali police, health officials
A Covid Control App to identify and mark quarantined spots and people, enabling easy tracking by health and police officials, has been launched by the district police and IT consultant Avinash Sharma in an attempt to gain technological advantage over the battle against Covid-19.
The app, which runs on Android, has to be mandatorily downloaded by those who are quarantined. Their location is tracked via their mobile phone numbers through geo fencing technology that creates a virtual perimeter for a real-world geographical area.
“Telecom service providers will help track the phone numbers,” says Mohali senior superintendent of police and nodal officer for Covid-19 Kuldeep Singh Chahal, who has been involved with the project along with deputy superintendent of police Amroz Singh .
Every quarantined user will be geo-fenced within a 500 metre radius of his or her place of quarantine and will have to upload a selfie every hour. The system will then update the location and match it with the quarantine area. Anyone breaching the geo fence will get a warning message which will also alert the police control room, even if the phone is switched off.
Penal action taken against those breaching norms include FIRs registered under Sections 188 (disobedience of orders duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
“Other app users will also be able to see, in real time, all the ‘red zones’ and quarantined or cluster areas on the app. People entering an infected area will get an alert,” Chahal said.
The 24-hour control room has been set up near the Phase 8 police station with a dedicated team to monitor quarantined persons and bring the violations to the notice of the police station concerned.
Also, WhatsApp groups have been formed at the police station level for immediate redressal of issues involving the local Saanjh (community) team, police teams and representatives of society to raise genuine queries and troubleshoot at the local level. Any issue which is beyond the scope of a group will be redressed at the district level.
A 24-hour police helpline number (88720-90029,0172-292-0074,0172-227-0091) has also been up to resolve issues related to the lockdown through direct intervention.