Sri Lanka to use drones to monitor areas isolated due to Coronavirus

Drones / Drone Representative Image

Sri Lankan Police will use drones to monitor the movement of people in areas declared as isolated due to a vast spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in recent weeks, local media reported on Friday.

The drones will be flown over areas under lockdown in the Western Province, including several areas within the capital Colombo, reports Xinhua news agency.

Police Spokesperson DIG Ajith Rohana said the assistance of the air force had been sought for this operation and they would use high tech drones to monitor any illegal movements within the isolated areas.

At least 20 people were arrested for stepping out of their homes in the lockdown areas until Friday morning.

Air force Spokesman Group Captain Dushantha Wijesinghe said it had deployed three teams for this purpose and six to 10 drones will be used, on the request of the police.

He said the drones will monitor the main routes and areas in an isolated area to see if any gatherings are ongoing, or playgrounds are being used, or if there are any movements on roads or any shops being kept open.

“We will strictly ensure that no breach of privacy is caused on private residences of people,” the air force spokesman said.

Sri Lanka’s Western Province has detected over 4,000 new confirmed cases in recent weeks since the detection of two new Covid-19 clusters, in Minuwangoda, the outskirts of the capital and from a fish market in Peliyagoda, Colombo, last month.

Several areas have remained under isolation since early October and people have been prohibited from entering or leaving the area.

Sri Lanka has reported a total of 15,723 cases since the first local patient was detected in March, while the death toll stood at 48.

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