Da Nang deploys drones to monitor lockdown

By Nguyen Dong   August 29, 2021 | 11:22 pm PT
Da Nang deploys drones to monitor lockdown
A drone captured the image of a man walking out on an alley in Da Nang's Hai Chau District. Photo courtesy of the Hai Chau People's Committee
Da Nang's Hai Chau District on Sunday began using drones to monitor residents during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Fifteen drones, provided for free by a group of volunteers, are capable of flying around 25 minutes. They come with around eight batteries so they could fly for hours, Hai Chau District People's Committee said.

Each ward in the district would be equipped with one drone. Wards with high numbers of Covid-19 cases like Hoa Thuan Dong or Binh Hien would have two drones each.

Tran Huu Duc Nhat, head of the volunteer group, said the drones are capable of flying at low levels, which is useful to monitor small streets and alleys. They also produce noise so people would be aware of them. Images captured by the drones would be transferred to the People's Committee so violators could be dealt with immediately, he added.

Le Tu Gia Thanh, chairman of Hai Chau People's Committee, said the risk of contracting Covid-19 in small alleys is high. In certain street sections, like on Ly Tu Trong or Hoang Dieu, dozens of cases have been detected, which further necessitates the need for monitoring.

"High-risk areas include those with isolated coronavirus cases. If someone wants to enter such areas they would need to wear protective suits, which is cumbersome, so there's no constant patrol here. Drones are therefore very useful," he said.

Drones cannot fly all day, so the district has also installed surveillance cameras, even mobile ones so they could be sent to coronavirus hotspots if needed. Thanh said the Da Nang military command has approved the use of drones for monitoring, while Hai Chau District is seeking approval from the 5th Military Region.

Da Nang has recorded 4,122 local Covid-19 cases since the fourth coronavirus wave hit Vietnam in late April. A lockdown is in place, which bans people from going out until Sept. 5.

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