By Aaron Kesel
Spanish police are taking a page out of China’s Orwellian playbook by using drones to patrol and yell at their civilians who are disobeying the CoViD-19 quarantine.
The country issued a state of emergency on Friday, and on Saturday the government ordered everyone in the country to stay home for all but the most crucial trips outdoors, according to Business Insider. Now, much like China did earlier this year, Spanish police are using drones to demand that citizens stay indoors without having to approach them and risk spreading the virus.
Police in Spain have been using drones to check the streets for anyone ignoring Spanish orders to stay home during the coronavirus outbreak
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) March 15, 2020
Video from the BBC shows police speaking into a radio and urging people walking through a Madrid park to go home. That message is then relayed into a drone utilizing a loudspeaker flying overhead demanding Spain’s citizens quarantine themselves inside their homes.
In Spain, all schools, restaurants, bars, sports venues, and cultural centers have been ordered closed, and social gatherings are also forbidden under declaration of a National Emergency. Spain has been one of Europe’s hardest hit countries, after Italy, with a death total of 509 deaths and 11,000 cases of infections according to the Johns Hopkins map at the time of this report.
Most of Spain’s cases have been recorded in the Madrid region, according to the Spanish Health Ministry.
“We won’t hesitate to use all the measures we have at our disposal to look out for your safety and everyone’s safety,” the city’s police department said on Twitter. “Although some of you will give us a hard time.”
Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sanchez called for unity and cooperation announcing the new measures to combat the CoViD-19 virus, the Independent reported.
No dudaremos en utilizar todos los medios de los que disponemos para velar por tu #seguridad y la de [email protected], aunque algunos todavía nos lo pongan difícil…#YoMeQuedoEnCasa #COVID19#EstamosPorTi#DronPMM pic.twitter.com/8mKYaAekhB
— Policía Municipal de Madrid (@policiademadrid) March 14, 2020
“I want to tell the workers, the self-employed and businesses that the government of Spain is going to do everything in its power to cushion the effects of this crisis,” Sanchez said. “Spain is demonstrating in these critical hours that it has the capacity to overcome adversity.”
“We are facing very difficult weeks of efforts and sacrifices. Some important rights must be limited if we want to beat the virus,” Sanchez also said.
Those who break the rules of the quarantine in Spain can be fined up to €600,000 and face prison time for their negligence.
The state of emergency will last two weeks, though may be extended if the situation warrants.
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