Drones tapped to help enforce lockdown

By: Melvin Gascon - Philippine Daily Inquirer April 19,2020 - 08:26 AM

MORE EYES ON THE ROAD Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, deputy chief for operations of the Philippine National Police, tests a drone on Edsa on Saturday as a tool for checking—and restricting—the number of vehicles on the streets while the Luzon lockdown remains in force. | MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

MANILA, Philippines — The government said on Saturday it would use smart technology, including the deployment of drones, in enforcing the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to stop the COVID-19 outbreak.

Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander, said the use of drones for aerial reconnaissance was part of the technological advances the government is implementing as it cracks down on violators of the ECQ.

The state-of-the-art technology will allow the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to be better equipped as they prepare for either a selective or total lockdown, Eleazar said.

He said the centerpiece of the system was the mobile command center (MCC), a self-contained and integrated command and control vehicle.

The MCC, Eleazar said, would be manned by the PNP’s Highway Patrol Group to monitor and synchronize nationwide containment operations in “dedicated control points” in the country, but mainly in Metro Manila, the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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TAGS: COVID-19, crackdown, drones, ECQ, Eleazar, Luzon, violators

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