Covid-19: Pak deploys militant-tracking tech to hunt confirmed and suspected patients

Pakistan deploys militant-tracking tech to hunt confirmed and suspected virus patients


Islamabad: The Pakistan intelligence services are deploying secretive surveillance technology which are normally used to track and militants to now track down coronavirus patients and the people they come into contact with, Dawn newspaper reported on Thursday.

In a programme publicly touted by Prime Minister Imran Khan, the government has turned to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for help in tackling the virus, which still is spreading alarmingly across Pakistan.

Details about the project have not been released, but two officials told AFP that intelligence services are using geo-fencing and phone-monitoring systems that are ordinarily employed to hunt high-value targets including homegrown and foreign militants.

Geo-fencing, a discreet tracking system that alerts authorities when someone leaves a specific geographic area, has helped officials monitor neighbourhoods during the lockdown.
Authorities are also listening in to the calls of COVID-19 patients to monitor their contacts and try and determine if they are showing symptoms.

“The trace-and-track system basically helps us track the mobile phones of corona patients as well as anyone they get in touch with before of after their disappearance,” an intelligence official said.



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