The drones use visual and thermal cameras to detect unauthorized gatherings.
Rabat – Morocco’s “Beti” group of surveying engineers, in collaboration with the territorial authorities and the national police, launched drones this week in Temara, near Rabat, to ensure citizens’ compliance with the state of health emergency and lockdown.
As part of Morocco’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Beti proposed the deployment of drones in Temara to enable authorities to enforce lockdown measures, including a ban on night movements throughout the holy month of Ramadan.
“The [Beti] group of surveying engineers has previously worked with the prefecture of Temara in the field of mass data collection,” Abdelhak Essadiki, a surveying engineer and member of the Beti group, told the press on Monday, April 27.
Local authorities in Temara asked the Beti group for assistance a second time in the detection of unauthorized gatherings and groups of people through drone surveillance.
The drones use visual and thermal cameras to do such surveillance, Essadiki said.
The Beti group’s drones are equipped with high-precision visual cameras that can quickly detect people’s movements and see them up close. The drones can even deter people from staying outside, Essadiki added.
The drones’ precise thermal cameras enable them to detect body temperature and therefore people in total darkness.
“The geographical coordinates are directly transferred to the territorial authorities and national police via the location applications, who can then move directly to the assembly area,” Essadiki explained.
Civilian drones are prohibited in the North African country, but Moroccan authorities have employed drone technology in the fight against COVID-19.
Last week, authorities in Tangier, in collaboration with the specialized Moroccan tech company Air Data Group (ADG), mobilized drones carrying loudspeakers to tour neighborhoods and raise awareness about the novel virus.
ADG carried out similar operations in cooperation with local authorities in Marrakech and Casablanca.
The startup developed a spraying system to disinfect public spaces while respecting health and safety standards.
In addition to the disinfection drone, Farasaha Systems presented a drone equipped with precise thermal detectors to detect suspected COVID-19 cases from afar based on body temperature.
Although Morocco has witnessed a downward trend in new COVID-19 cases and deaths and a spike in recoveries, national confinement measures are in effect until May 20. To continue the flattening of the curve, Moroccan authorities are employing technology to ensure citizens and residents respect the nationwide lockdown.