Coronavirus pandemic

Electronic wristband to ensure stay-home notice: Quarantine monitoring devices being used by others worldwide

Kuwait nationals returning from abroad are given a smart bracelet linked to the "Shlonik" contact tracing app.
Kuwait nationals returning from abroad are given a smart bracelet linked to the "Shlonik" contact tracing app.PHOTO: GOOGLE PLAY

Besides Singapore, many other places in the world have also turned to electronic monitoring devices to help them control the spread of the coronavirus. Here are some places that do so:

HONG KONG

In March, Hong Kong began ordering all arrivals from overseas to wear electronic bracelets during home quarantine. The no-frills band connects to an app which sends out alerts for the wearers to take pictures of themselves with the wristband, and issues warnings if it senses a person has left his or her residence. The device detects and analyses radio signals, including Bluetooth, WiFi and geographical location signals such as GPS.

Police and health officials track down those not in compliance and violators risk six months in jail.

SOUTH KOREA

The government has rolled out electronic wristbands for those who defy a mandatory quarantine order, after many left their homes without taking their smartphones installed with tracking apps.

The wristband connects to the government's mobile app that monitors the movement of a person under quarantine. A notification will be sent to the authorities if the device is damaged.

The wristband also checks for fever and other health conditions via a sensor twice a day. It will also ask the person to confirm his or her location if it is not used for a certain period of time. The police will visit the home if there is no response.

SARAWAK, MALAYSIA

The authorities in Sarawak require everyone entering the eastern state to strap on a QR-coded wristband. Upon scanning the QR code, the wearers will have to enter a set of information into a website.

They will have to report their locations at 8am and 8pm daily. This allows the health authorities to monitor their whereabouts during the 14-day quarantine period and perform "random checks" on them based on the information sent from the device.

JORDAN

The kingdom on July 4 began requiring travellers to wear electronic bracelets during home quarantine.

 
 

The bracelet connects to a person's smartphone via Bluetooth with GPS enabled to track movement, according to a report by Roya News. Once the person arrives home to serve quarantine, the house location is recorded.

BAHRAIN

Those under compulsory home quarantines will be given a wristband which is connected to the government's "BeAware" contact tracing app that will track their movements.

Health Ministry officials may randomly send requests to individuals under quarantine asking for photos that clearly show their face and bracelet. An alert is also sent to a monitoring station if the wearer moves farther than 15m away from their phone.

Any attempt to remove or tamper with the bracelet will result in the person being potentially fined between 1,000 and 10,000 Bahraini dinar (S$36,430) or jailed for no less than three months.

KUWAIT

Kuwait nationals returning from abroad are given a smart bracelet linked to the "Shlonik" contact tracing app, for use during home quarantine.

The bracelet sends movement data to the authorities and will notify the Health Ministry if people break quarantine rules, China's Xinhua news agency quoted Ms Mona Al-Khabaz, head of the ministry's team in charge of digital monitoring of people under home quarantine, as saying.

The bracelet sends questions to the wearers twice a day on whether they have symptoms of Covid-19, and also asks users to submit random selfies.

Violators risk being transferred to a government quarantine facility, as well as face other legal actions.

LIECHTENSTEIN

One in 10 residents were given biometric bracelets as part of a study to track potential Covid-19 cases in real time. The bracelets will send temperature, breathing and heart rate data to a lab in Switzerland for analysis. The Financial Times reported that by autumn, the bracelets will be offered to the whole population of 38,000.

BLOOMBERG, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 04, 2020, with the headline 'Quarantine monitoring devices also being used by others worldwide'. Print Edition | Subscribe