The government of Pakistan has taken a step further to contain the spread of the deadly COVID-19 infection and tackle the accelerating cases of the highly contiguous disease by deploying a surveillance technology across the country for tracking confirmed and suspected coronavirus patients.
The Prime Minster of Pakistan Imran Khan has turned to Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for help in combating the deadly virus. The intelligence agencies are deploying the technology normally used to locate militants to instead track COVID-19 patients and the people they come into contact with.
The government has still not released the details of the project but two officials, on condition of anonymity, said that that intelligence services are using geo-fencing and phone-monitoring systems to track the cases.
Geo-fencing, a confidential tracking system that signals authorities when someone moves from a specific geographic location, has helped officials monitor areas on lockdown.
As being reported, authorities are also listening in to the calls of COVID-19 patients to monitor whether their contacts are talking about having symptoms.
An intelligence official explained, “The trace-and-track system basically helps us track the mobile phones of corona patients as well as anyone they get in touch with before or after their disappearance”.
Agencies are now “quite effectively” using the surveillance technology to track coronavirus cases, he said.
“The government has been successful in tracing even those who tested positive but went into hiding,” he added.
PM Imran Khan lauded the project which would be a great help in combating the virus which has come up against little public debate.
“It was originally used against terrorism, but now it is has come in useful against coronavirus,” he said.
Note that more than 61,000 cases have been confirmed in Pakistan while more than 1,200 patients have died of the disease.