In an attempt to ensure home quarantine orders are strictly followed, preventing the spread of pandemic disease, the Gujarat government on Friday launched a mobile application to monitor the movement of those, who are advised to remain in home isolation.
The Principal Secretary (health) Jayanti Ravi stated that “The Geographic Information System (GIS) – based app, ‘SMC COVID-19 Tracker’ which has been designed for the purpose to track home-quarantined people, was launched in Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Vadodara, and Rajkot.”
As per the application, a self-isolating person will have to download the app and upload a selfie. He/she is then required to declare his or her current location and travel history. They are also required to fill up a simple form twice a day, giving information about symptoms such as fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing. Following this, the app helps track and collect the latest information about people who are home-quarantined and also monitors their health.
“Apart from GIS mapping, the app is equipped with ‘Geo-Fencing’ to alert the authorities if the person moves away from a specific area. It will help us track the movements of around 20,000 persons who are under home quarantine,” stated principal secretary Jayanti Ravi.
Users are required to click on the ‘Send Location’ button every hour, to update their whereabouts. If the user is found to have moved out of the house or the specified area, he or she will be sent to institutional quarantine.
Meanwhile, as per the health department, three crore people have been surveyed either personally or through the phone. The Municipal Corporation of Surat is already using the application to keep track of 3,600 home-quarantined people in the city, and so far, the Gujarat police have lodged complaints against 298 persons for violating home quarantine orders.
Earlier, the Tamil Nadu Government has launched a similar mobile application to track the movements of people who have been advised to self-isolate. All those under home quarantine will receive an SMS from the government to download the app ‘‘COVID-19 Quarantine Monitor – TN’ and they have to install it by validating their mobile number.
“Most people are law-abiding citizens and they follow the rules. When there are incidents of people escaping quarantine, an app helps us to monitor those under home quarantine. Once they download the app, they will be geo-fenced and their movements can be monitored,” stated Rohith Nandan, an engineer turned IPS officer.
Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu has increased to 53 and 40, with the death toll of 3 and 1, respectively.