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The internet of Things (IoT) related innovation is being put to the test here in Botswana during this Covid-19 pandemic if news reaching Biztech Africa is anything to go by. The Covid-19 Taskforce team is mooting the introduction of what is termed the geofencing bracelet.

A statement from the team explained in a communique that “The Presidential COVID-19 Task Team is planning to introduce the Geo Fencing bracelet to monitor movement of people on self-isolation and quarantine. Briefing the nation recently, the deputy coordinator of the team, Professor Mosepele Mosepele said the bracelet would be connected to their system to alert them of any movement made by someone in quarantine or self-isolation.

Mosepele added that they were introducing such tracing method as they had observed that people move around while on self-isolation and quarantine.

Geofencing is the practice of creating virtual perimeters within certain environments. Using GPS solutions to designate areas for various purposes, it’s a modern technology developed to keep track of people’s movements, and notify anyone who might need to know who is going where, and when.

“When integrated with radio dispatch solutions, Geofencing enables operators to see when employees enter restricted zones, work areas and other sectors. For example, whenever a miner travels to a blast area, a dispatcher will receive a notification. From there, he or she can send a text message or individual call to the miner, instructing him or her to leave the blast zone,” said information on the application of the bracelet.

On other but Covid inclined issues, Prof. Mosepele said they would in future use antigen based point of care tests, which he explained would allow for results to be released within 30 minutes. He noted that the team would introduce sharing of COVID-19 results through social media platforms like textmessages, whatsApp or email.

The team leader noted they were particularly looking at negative results to share through such platforms to reduce backlog as many people tested negative. He said the April lockdown helped in containing local transmissions as well as border surveillance, which led to early detection of imported cases.

Prof. Mosepele said border surveillance delayed community testing. He expressed concern at the increasing number of local cases, saying although the Greater Gaborone July lockdown delayed a surge temporarily, a surge of cases followed the lifting of the lockdown with which eventually surpassed border cases. Since the first reported case of COVID-19 case in March, Prof. Mosepele said, Botswana had reported a total of 2 252 cases. From this number, as of September 8, 1 152 are Batswana with 597 active cases and 546 recoveries.

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