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Karnataka: if you are in quarantine, don’t move your mobile phone

Firstly, let me express deep sense of appreciation to officials of Karnataka Government for monitoring people in quarantine to ensure safety of community. They have a mechanism to reach out via an interactive automated voice call, they have a doctor call person and then an employee from BBMP (Bangalore Bruhat Maha Palika) or local panchayat. All of them are doing great job.

However, technology given to them or mechanism given to them is inappropriate. Since I have travelled to Hyderabad during last week of June, we are marked to be in home quarantine till 10th July, 2020. A couple of days back, I got an automated call stating they found a breach and I can select one of the options for reason of breach. Options are Medical, For work, For grocery and last option is “others”; but there was no option as “I have not breached”.

Today, I got a call from a doctor saying they have received a report that I may have breached quarantine and that calls for a FIR. When I have explained that I have not breached and through our conversation, he has mentioned that on 6th July, morning a different mobile tower has been triggered and that raised an alert. In our apartment (even within my flat), when I look for “my location” on Google maps, it shows three different things. How could their systems raise an alert based on mobile towers. May I now file a FIR on Airtel? What if a person leaves mobile phone at home and go all over; how would they track them?

We live in a high rise apartment where we have strict internal restrictions for people who are marked to be in quarantine. We don’t even allow our maids to come in. I think government should look for better tracking. They do have Quarantine Watch app but I was able to upload my photo only for two days. By the way, I got to know about quarantine watch app from our apartment association but not from authorities when they have marked quarantine stamp at the airport. They should at least provide a information booklet that contains apps that one can have and guidelines that one needs to follow.

It’s however appreciative that government officials are monitoring movement of people marked in quarantine and it’s our responsibility to stay at home and fight against COVID-19.

#StaySafe

Srinivasu is an accessibility evangelist with 16+ years of experience. Currently works as Senior Accessibility Program Manager at Watermark. Previousely held several positions at companies like BarrierBreak, Yahoo, PayPal, Deque, HCL etc., He believes in the teachings of Shri. Adi Sankaracharya, Swami Vivekananda. He is also Founder of ServeOM Inclusion - a platform to pormote accessibility.

2 Comments

  1. bipin.chandra bipin.chandra

    I got a similar automated call today, that I have breached home quarantine. Though I have stayed at home all this time. I cut the automated call as it did not give an option to respond that I have not breached home quarantine.

  2. They may reach out to you over phone and ask you to send them a photograph of you at your door wearing a mask. It’s a weird expectation, do they expect us to wear mask all the time?

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