Cops prepare app to detect nearby Covid cases in case of community spread

The department has so far tracked about 40,000 people in connection with preparing the flow chart of patients.

Published: 03rd April 2020 03:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd April 2020 03:20 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The cyber wing of the state police has prepared a draft of a mobile app that could be used to detect Covid-19 hot spots in case the state drifts to community spread of the pandemic. Being built under the monitoring of the Cyberdome, the app will enable the users to identify the spots where Covid cases have been reported in abundance thereby alerting the non-infected people to avoid visiting those areas.

Sources said the app will be made functional by obtaining the mobile phone numbers of the infected people and feeding their details on to the system. The app will have features that alert the users to find the nearest Corona-confirmed patient. One of the senior police officers told TNIE that the functioning of the app will be somewhat similar to the ones that detect speed cameras fixed on roadsides.

“There is no rocket science behind this app. All it requires is the Google timeline, the activities of the individual android phones and the mobile phone tower location,” said the officer.

The three elements will be synchronised to obtain the exact location of the patient and the app users can readily obtain this information. The department is of the feeling that the state won’t be needing the app as it won’t be entering a community spread phase. “However, we are taking all precautions. In such critical situations, individual flow chart will have no big significance. The app could be of great use then,” said a source.

“The big advantage is if a person wants to visit a mall, but is unsure about the level of safety, he can log onto the app and see if there are any Covid-19 patients present there. The data will empower people to act smart and safe,” the officer added. However, one drawback will be that the movement of the ones who use smartphones alone can be tracked and the tracker also needs to have smartphones to do so. But the increase in number of smartphones is what keeps the police in a spot of ease. “The smartphone penetration of the population is high in Kerala. Those who travel regularly mostly have such phones. So, our job is much more easy,” said a police source.

The department has so far tracked about 40,000 people in connection with preparing the flow chart of patients. In several cases, Google consented with sharing the timelines making the matters easy for the cyber cops.

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