Assam to use drones to keep tabs on Covid-rule violators | Guwahati News


GUWAHATI: For the first time since the outbreak of Covid-19 in Assam, the state government will be using drones to keep tabs on those defying guidelines in areas where cases are surging.
Amid fears that the pandemic might last beyond 2021 and the threat of a third wave looming large, chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday asked district authorities and the police to conduct monitoring through drones to identify places where people are coming out in large numbers, violating Covid restrictions.
In a review meeting, carried out virtually, with authorities of nine districts, Sarma directed them to extensively move around the districts to ensure strict enforcement of Covid protocols and allot sector-wise responsibility to magistrates to monitor violations.
A source privy to the meeting told TOI that for the first time, drone technology is going to be used for stringent monitoring of the Covid situation in the state. “People, especially in rural areas and tea gardens, have been found to be flouting Covid rules even during curfew hours. Onus is on the deputy commissioners to select the pockets where drones will be used,” the source added.
Further, the officials were directed to undertake round-the-clock monitoring of district borders and roads to stop unnecessary movement, apart from intensifying vaccination in the districts. Here, officials said drone technology may play a vital role in monitoring. Despite an inter-district ban in place, people are seen traveling from one district to another with ease, even through highways.
On Sunday, the chief minister conducted a comprehensive review of the Covid-19 situation in nine districts — Biswanath, Dibrugarh, Golaghat, Jorhat, Kamrup (Metropolitan), Lakhimpur, Nagaon, Sonitpur and Sivasagar — reporting high positivity rates.
In the virtual meeting attended by Sarma’s principal secretary Samir Kumar Sinha, health department principal secretary, Anurag Goel, Mission Director (NHM Assam), Lakshmanan S and other senior officers, the chief minister expressed concern regarding a section of people violating containment guidelines, which he said has triggered further spread of the virus. He asked the district collectors to identify assembly points in the urban areas, villages and tea gardens and strictly enforce containment measures in those areas.
He further directed senior officers to visit villages where assembly of people are taking place and in markets and dissuade them from coming out and ensuring that shops remain shut in the locality in case the district is under total containment.
He said that circle officers, with the help of gaon buras, will sensitize people in villages to abstain from organizing family functions and social gatherings where sizable number of people take part and could lead to further spread of the virus.

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