Across the globe, increased efforts are being made to ensure the spread of COVID-19 is stemmed, and when it comes to mild cases that do not require hospital care, home isolation has been a key measure employed by many countries. In Saudi Arabia, home isolation measures have been taken one step further as the Kingdom announced this week the introduction of electronic wristband trackers to monitor people quarantined inside their homes.
According to the spokesperson for Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health, Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly, these bracelets are being introduced “not just to monitor and follow up on infected individuals, but to provide further services to reassure citizens and residents.”
Other countries across the globe such as Bulgaria, South Korea, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Hong Kong have also been exploring the use of similar wristbands, giving their residents the device in order to record their movements using GPS satellite location data. According to BBC, these bracelets can allow authorities to confirm that a person is staying at home, can alert them whenever the wearer attempts to remove the wristband, can be used to monitor the wearer's heart rate, and can be used by the wearer to call the emergency services.
In a bid to further reduce the strain on hospitals and medics, Saudi Arabia has also added to its newly introduced Tawakkalna app a warning system that provides people with information about the number of COVID-19 infections in the country, ways to prevent it, placing request for ambulance, medical news issued by the Ministry of Health, and more. The app was launched last month by the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence and the Ministry as a way for residents and businesses to easily apply for and receive movement permits.