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Friday, June 05, 2020

Telangana: Drones to help cops implement COVID-19 lockdown, govt launches fact-check website

Officers said the technology is enabling police make lockdown-related announcements and organise their ground forces in congested areas of Hyderabad.

Written by Sreenivas Janyala | Hyderabad | Updated: April 2, 2020 9:22:27 pm
coronavirus lockdown, coronavirus lockdown news, drones coronavirus hyderabad, telangana coronavirus factcheck website, hyderabad news, indian express Drones being used to sanitise parts of Nizamuddin, New Delhi, on Thursday. (Express photo: Tashi Tobgyal)

Telangana Police is now deploying drones to better implement the COVID-19 lockdown in Hyderabad.

Hyderabad-based Cyient, a global engineering and technology solutions company, is providing Telangana Police with the drone-based surveillance technology.

The technology is enabling police make lockdown-related announcements and organise their ground forces to monitor the situation in congested areas of the city. Equipped with surveillance cameras, thermal imaging payloads and sky speaker for public announcements, Cyient’s drone-based aerial inspection capability is augmenting the police’s ability to combat the spread of the pandemic, an officer said.

By providing situational awareness on a real-time basis, the technology gives police the means to understand and deploy resources very quickly to manage evolving situations.

An officer of Cyberabad Police said the drone-based surveillance is assisting ground forces to monitor sensitive areas in the city. “Visuals from the drones are enabling us to take correct decisions on moving forces to sensitive areas,” the officer said.

In another development, the Telangana government Thursday launched a dedicated website, https://factcheck.telangana.gov.in, as part of its efforts to check the spread of fake news, misinformation and rumours in the backdrop of coronavirus spread and the consequent lockdown.

The state has already invoked the provisions of Section 54 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and notified Telangana Epidemic Diseases (COVID-19) Regulations, 2020 framed under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. Disseminating information on social media platforms without ascertaining the facts and obtaining prior clearance from competent authorities is deemed a punishable offence under the said Act and Regulations.

The Supreme Court had taken serious note of the panic created by fake news leading to mass movement of migrant labourers, directing the Union and State Governments to take effective measures to check such misinformation.

Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has also warned that stringent action will be taken against anyone spreading false or fake news. Principal Secrtary, Information Technology, Jayesh Ranjan, said, “Notwithstanding the penal provisions, it goes without saying that creating awareness on the adverse effects of spreading fake news/ misinformation along with providing the authentic sources of information and a platform that verifies the information for authenticity will help address the issue.”

To this effect, the IT department of Telangana government, in partnership with Factly Media & Research, has developed the dedicated web portal https://factcheck.telangana.gov.in. It is aimed at dispelling fake news and misinformation campaigns on social media platforms and provide facts and context wherever applicable.

The website hosts articles on widely circulated posts on coronavirus on social media platforms and verifies the claims made therein. Further, citizens can also submit a post being circulated on social media for fact-checking by the IT Department, Ranjan said.

The ITE&C department will release a bulletin at regular intervals with a listing of posts spreading fake news, misinformation and rumours and give the facts with respect to the information in question.

27 new cases in Telangana today, total 154

The number of Covid-19 positive cases in Telangana rose to 154 with 27 new cases reported today. All the 27 new cases are related to Tablighi Jamaat meeting held in Nizamuddin in Delhi mid-March. Three persons who recovered after treatment were discharged from various hospitals today; total 17 persons have recovered and have been discharged so far. Total nine deaths related to coronavirus have been reported in Telangana so far and all the nine persons are related to the Tablighi Jamaat meeting.

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