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Combating COVID-19: Andhra Pradesh to track cell phones of those in home quarantine to ensure compliance

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ANI General News
Andhra Pradesh government is using unique tools developed by the State Disaster Management Authority with the help of other agencies to track each person in home quarantine and to track the travel history of positive cases of coronavirus.
The first tool which is called the COVID alerting tracking system is being used by the authorities to track over 25,000 people placed under home quarantine by tracking the location of their numbers with the help of telecomm service providers and mobile tower signals.
The authorities already have a database of mobile numbers of all these 25,000 people. Taking the base location as the location of the respective person's residence , the tool is equipped to alert the district authorities if the person travels beyond a 100 m radius from the base location thereby violating the norms of home quarantine.
Upon receiving the alert, district authorities then talk to the violator and ask him to go back. If the violator refuses to do so, the matter is escalated for necessary action by state authorities.This way, the authorities are ensuring that each one of them abides by the norms.
The second tool is being used by the authorities to track the travel history of all the positive cases using the same data and mobile tower signals.
With the help of the patient's phone number and service providers, various places that the person has travelled to prior to being tested positive are obtained by the authorities.
Upon getting all locations, they narrow down on those where the person spent at least 15 minutes. This helps the authorities track local transmission, setup red zones within a 2-3 km radius and sanitize.
The authorities have already mapped all the locations that 20 of the positive cases have visited by now.
Sources said that Telangana, Bihar and Odisha are also mulling to follow the Andhra Pradesh model and using the same tools to curb the spread of coronavirus.

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First Published: Mar 31 2020 | 12:40 AM IST

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