COVID-19: K’taka Govt Asks for Selfies but The App 'Doesn’t Work'
Soon after the government order was announced, several logistical issues cropped up.
According to an order passed by Karnataka Health Department on Monday, 30 March, those currently under home quarantine in cities across the state, would have to upload selfies on an hourly basis on the Quarantine Watch Mobile App.
The order states that all persons observing home quarantine are required to “send their selfie to Government every 1 hour from home”. Those failing to follow these orders, except in the ‘sleeping time’ from 10 pm to 7 am, would be called on by a team of government officials and they are liable to be shifted to a government created mass quarantine.
Since the photo uploaded will bear GPS coordinates of the person’s location, it will be easy for the government to track citizens and ensure they are not violating quarantine. The same app will also be used by Health Department officials as part of the government quarantine checking teams, when they go house-to-house to check up on those who have been ordered to quarantine at home.
So far, over 10 people have been booked across the state for violating quarantine rules and exiting their homes. Special teams had also been formed last week to track those who are on home quarantine, stamp them with indelible ink and paste notices outside their homes.
App 'Doesn’t Work on Android Phones & Unavailable for iOS Users'
However, soon after the government order was announced, several logistical issues cropped up.
Those in home quarantine and having Android phones said that they were unable to use the app to upload a selfie. One person in Bengaluru told The Quint that the button to take a picture was not ‘clickable’, meaning that one couldn’t upload a picture and prove that they were at home.
Additionally, those with Apple phones using iOS that The Quint spoke to said that the app was simply not there in the App Store for them to download.
Despite the government threatening to swoop down on defaulters and possibly send them to mass quarantine facilities, they are yet to address the faults with the software.
‘What if I Don’t Have A Smartphone?’ & Other Queries
Soon after the news broke on Twitter, users on Monday exploded in a multitude of responses and queries to the new order.
Low-Risk Primary Contacts in B’luru to be Moved to Hotels
According to another order passed by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the city corporation, as many as 312 low-risk, asymptomatic primary contacts of COVID-19 patients in Bengaluru, would be shifted to pre-identified hotels across the city.
BBMP commissioner Anil Kumar told The Quint that the process had already begun and would be completed by Tuesday, 31 March. One hotel has been identified for each of the 8 zones in the city which will have 50 beds each. Only those who are still in the quarantine period will be shifted to such facilities.
“If there are more than 50 such people in any one zone, they will be moved to another hotel. One room will be allotted per person and they will receive 24/7 care. Dedicated paramedical staff will be assigned to each building and there will be security outside to ensure that there are no unauthorised entries or exits,” he said, adding that this is being done with the coordination of joint commissioners and the BBMP health department.
The commissioner added that the citizens would be transported to the quarantine facilities by a special vehicle/ambulance.
Marriage Halls to Be Set Aside for Migrant Workers
In a set of instructions to Bengaluru Police, city police commissioner Bhaskar Rao on Monday, said that migrant workers attempting to move out of Bengaluru and back to their home towns should be provided food and shelter in marriage halls.
“There is a lot of migrant movement to Uttaraka Kannada in vehicles, they are leaving out of Mysuru road, Ballari road etc. According to government orders as of today, in Bengaluru, all the kalyana mantapas or marriage halls should be utilised to provide shelter, food and medical care to the migrants. DCPs and Joint Commissionerss of BBMP should coordinate and ensure workers get what they need on the spot. Such marriage halls so identified should be marked with a picket for easy identification,” he said.
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