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How ISI’s Trace-And-Track System Is Being Used To Track Coronavirus Patients

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Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is assisting the government in tracking the coornavirus patients and the people they came in contact with, by a secretive surveillance technology used to track militants. Last month, Prime Minister had confirmed that the tracking system used to trace terrorists by the ISI is now being employed for the purpose of tracking coronavirus patients.

AFP reported that two officials from ISI have mentioned the usage of geo-fencing and phone monitoring systems that have been previously used to locate high profile criminals.

Geo-fencing has helped the authorities in tracking people from the neighbourhoods of immense infection during the lockdown. The calls of infected Covid-19 patients are also being monitored.

AFP quoted an ISI officer as saying that their method have been proven to be effective. The trace-and-track system basically helps track the mobile phones of corona patients as well as anyone they get in touch with before of after their disappearance, and the ones who go into hiding. 

There is still an extreme lack of awareness and fear attached to the virus, which prevents people from seeking help from hospitals and instead, take up upon themselves to practise self-isolation. 

The prime minister also talked about the programme being effective but there has been little debate about it in public.  

More than 61,000 people in Pakistan have tested positive for the disease and more than 1,200 patients have died.

But with testing still limited, officials worry the true numbers are much higher.

However, the rights groups have been alarmed by the involvement of ISI in the process of spotting coronavirus patients because there is a lot of discrimination possible from an agency that the public fears openly.

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There have been speculations that they might even abuse their access to information and power for politically charged loss of life.


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Naya Daur