Polish middle-distance runner Adam Kszczot poses for a selfie during a quarantine following the outbreak of coronavirus disease in Lodz, Poland, on Saturday. Reuters
Poland launched a smartphone app allowing people under a mandatory 14-day quarantine for coronavirus to send selfies to let authorities know they are indeed staying home.
“People in quarantine have a choice: either receive unexpected visits from the police, or download this app,” Karol Manys, digital ministry spokesman, told reporters.
The “Home quarantine” app is intended for people undergoing the mandatory 14-day quarantine after returning from abroad, he said.
The screen of a special application for people under quarantine is seen on a smartphone in Warsaw. AFP
The app uses geolocation and facial recognition allowing quarantined users to check-in with authorities to confirm they are indeed staying at home as required.
Users first register a selfie through the app which then randomly requests more selfies throughout the day.
The app notifies police if users fail to respond within 20 minutes.
Police said on Friday they had slapped a 500-zloty ($118) fine on one person who had flouted the mandatory quarantine rules, adding that penalties run as high as 5,000 zlotys.
A couple dances on their balcony after taking part in an applause event for medical teams fighting the spread of the COVID-19. AFP
Like other EU members, Poland has introduced a slew of measures to combat the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus, including shutting schools untilEaster, closing borders to foreigners and asking people to work from home.
A country of 38 million people, Poland had 425 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including five deaths, as of Friday.
Poland declared an epidemic and extended school closures on Friday but said it would stick with its May 10 date for the first round of a presidential election.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in Warsaw that declaring an epidemic allowed his right-wing government “to suspend school lessons until Easter,” adding that this “doesn’t mean we’re postponing the (presidential) election.”
Like other EU members, Poland has introduced sweeping measures to combat the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus, including shutting schools — initially to March 25 — closing borders to foreigners and asking people to work from home.
Elsewhere in Europe, frustrations with COVID-19 curbs were spilling over, with scuffles breaking out at a large anti-restrictions protest in the German city of Kassel, and thousands joining a similar demonstration in Liestal, Switzerland.
England's months-old rules have been relaxed thanks in large part to a successful vaccination drive, enabling outdoor gatherings of up to six people, or two households, in what newspapers have dubbed "Happy Monday."
During the seven-day period of Feb.3-9, the EU as a whole recorded an average daily of 103,250 new infections, which was 16 per cent down on the previous week. The average number of deaths each day was 3,137, or seven percent fewer.
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