By SAT News Desk
March 27, 2020: The COVID-19 crisis has taken a dramatic turn in India with the revelation that lakhs of passengers who flew into India were not screened at the airports. Plus, the alleged leaked data of passengers on a mobile phone App is raising eyebrows.
A ‘The Hindu’ report (Friday 27,2020) summarised in its ‘The Evening Wrap’ received here (2.58 am Saturday 28 March 2020) says “The monitoring and surveillance of international travelers entering India is shaping up into a big issue. Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba has said that between January 18, when screening of arrivals began, and March 23, when all international flights were suspended, about 15 lakh passengers landed in India. But not all of them were screened on arrival, resulting in a surveillance gap that could undermine efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus, he said.”
The Evening Wrap says:
In a letter issued to the chief secretaries of all states and union territories, he has asked them to step up their surveillance of these individuals, “given that many amongst the persons who have tested positive for Covid-19 so far in India have a history of international travel.”
Meanwhile, we have some initial reporting on some privacy issues regarding such surveillance: “The government’s efforts to monitor people under advised quarantine for the Covid-19 virus ran into privacy issues on Friday, after the database of hundreds of passengers who returned from “Coronavirus-affected countries” was leaked online and shared by social media groups,” our National Editor Suhasini Haidar writes.
In addition, activists are questioning a newly launched pilot or beta version of a mobile phone application called “Corona Kavach”, which uses the data of confirmed coronavirus patients to alert subscribers when they are in close proximity.