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Geo-fencing app to locate quarantine violators

The government has tested an application named, Geo-fencing app to trigger emails and SMS alerts to an authorised government agency, if a person has jumped quarantine or has escaped from isolation, based on the person’s mobile phone’s cell tower location.Kerala becomes the first States to use geo-fencingKey Points

i.The Centre under the Indian Telegraph Act 1885, uses powers to “fetch information” from telecom companies every 15 minutes to track COVID-19 quarantine violators across the country & is accurate by up to 300 m.

ii.Under the provisions of Section 5 (2) of the Indian Telegraph Act of 1885, States have been asked to obtain the approval of their Home Secretaries and request the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) to provide information by email or SMS to specific mobile telephone numbers to “Geo-fencing” violation.

iii.The DoT has recently shared a standard operating procedure (SOP) with all telecom service providers regarding the application called COVID-19 Quarantine Alert System (CQAS).

iv.Kerala is one of the 1st states to use this CQAS which combines telephone data, including device location, into a common secure platform and alerts local agencies if COVID patients violate who are monitored or in isolation.

v.Geo-fencing works only if the quarantined person has a mobile phone from Airtel, Vodafone-Idea or Reliance Jio as it does not support “BSNL / MTNL” location based services as they are government owned.

vi.The phone number will be removed from the system after the time of location tracking, and that the data would be deleted four weeks from now.

Similar apps

  • Maharashtra government has introduced the MahaKavach app, a smartphone app which helps them to track the suspected COVID-19 cases in the state. It was developed by Nashik Municipal Corporation, the Maharashtra State Innovation Society, the Nashik District Innovation Council and the Nashik Municipal Smart City Development Corporation.
  • Gujarat government has also launched a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based app which will monitor the movement of those in quarantine.

About Kerala
Capital– Thiruvananthapuram
Chief Minister (CM)– Pinarayi Vijayan
Governor– Arif Mohammad Khan

About Gujarat
Capital– Gandhinagar
CM– Vijay Rupani
Governor– Acharya Devvrat