As India fights against the novel coronavirus or COVID-19, use of drones has given the Maharashtra government and police a boost in Mumbai - a hotpot with over 1,000 cases. The city police is using these drones to urge people in crowded areas to "stay indoors" and obey the nationwide lockdown, which has now been extended till May 3.
This morning, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh was in Worli to review the use of drones by the city police as the cops monitored localities through the footage captured by these devices.
After the demonstration by the police, Mr. Deshmukh told reporters, "With the use of these drones we are telling people to stay indoors and remind them that they are being watched if they step out. This battle against COVID-19 pandemic can be won only if people stay at home and that is what we are asking them to do."
Mumbai Police plan to use these drones in crowded areas - Worli Koliwada, Malvani - and other parts of the city where it is not possible for the cops and other officials concerned to be physically present and ensure the success of lockdown.
Flag marches are also being conducted across the city, especially hotspots like Worli and Prabhadevi. But the drones give the policemen an advantage and allow them to survey the areas without actually entering the locked down localities.
Today, at least eight drones with cameras were displayed by the police during a meeting with the Home Minister and their use in containment zones was explained.
The drones have a capacity of carrying a weight of 30 kg. They are mounted with a loudspeaker and a camera.
Drone Stark Technologies, the company which has tied up with the Mumbai Police in this project, says the drones can also be used for disinfecting the localities.
Rohan Raut, CTO & Founder of Drone Stark Technologies told NDTV, "The drones are being used for two hours a day currently. They are being used in two or three locations. It is helpful for the police in crowded areas where people tend to step out if they kno
w no one is watching them. We are happy we can partner with the police in fighting this pandemic."
In Maharashtra, the state with the highest number of cases in India, the COVID-19 count has already crossed the 2,000-mark; 160 deaths in the state have been reported linked to the illness. Across India, 10,000 people have contracted the virus, more than 300 have died.