Drones used to monitor public movement, say police

A drone is used by Malaysian police to monitor social distancing at the Chow Kit market in Kuala Lumpur March 27, 2020. ― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
A drone is used by Malaysian police to monitor social distancing at the Chow Kit market in Kuala Lumpur March 27, 2020. ― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), through the Drone Unit of the Air Operation Team (PGU), together with the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM), are now extensively using drones to control and monitor the public movement during the movement control order (MCO), being enforced until April 14.

Previously, the use of drones was only during the day, but it has been extended until night, like last night, where the ATM drones were used in “Op Penawar” to monitor the public movement in the town centre and areas around Klang Valley, as well as in red zone Covid-19 outbreak areas.

Launched four days ago (March 24), more than 10 units of drones, equipped with heat-sensing technology and speakers, are used for the purpose.

What is interesting is that these drones are also capable of giving a warning siren and advice, in three languages Malay, Mandarin and Tamil, to the public to comply with the MCO regulations.

The locations where the drones are used include the Selayang Wholesale Market, Keramat Market, Chow Kit and Little India in Brickfields.

The use of drones is seen effective to alert and convey information in distant and wider areas as there are still many people who defy the order, with many vehicles still on the road, despite the enforcement of MCO entering its 12th day today.

Although today the number of vehicles is not as many compared to the early days of the MCO, full compliance by the public, by just staying at home, is expected by now to break the chain of the Covid-19 infection.

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, at a special press conference yesterday, said a total of 1,046 roadblocks have been mounted since enforcement of MCO, with 240,544 vehicles inspected.

This prompted the government to consider more comprehensive measures, which are expected to be stricter, to be announced in a day or two.

On efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19, the authorities have done everything possible and will not hesitate to punish those who defy regulations.

Within the past 48 hours, almost 400 individuals were arrested for defying MCO, which included exercising outdoor and performing Friday prayer, which has been replaced with Zohor prayer at home during the MCO period.

As of noon yesterday, a total of 159 new cases were reported, bringing the toll of Covid-19 positive cases in Malaysia to 2,320, with 26 deaths.

Meanwhile, according to the Foreign Ministry, 86 Malaysian citizens will be brought home from Cairo, Egypt, using a chartered aircraft by the Brunei government, which is expected to arrive in Bandar Seri Begawan today.

Upon arrival in Brunei, the Malaysian citizens will board a specially chartered Malaysia Airlines aircraft for the flight home and they are expected to arrive at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 11.25am today. — Bernama

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