NBC reports South Korea’s government has said it will strap electronic wristbands on people who defy self-quarantine orders after two weeks of preparation and manufacturing as it tightens monitoring to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Officials said stricter controls are required because some of the 57,000 people who are under orders to stay home have slipped out by leaving behind smartphones with tracking apps. Plans for broader use of wristbands were scaled back after objections by human rights and legal activists.
Senior Health Ministry official Yoon Tae-ho on Saturday acknowledged the privacy and civil liberty concerns surrounding the bands, which will be enforced through police and local administrative officials after two weeks of preparation and manufacturing.
However, he said authorities need more effective monitoring tools because the number of people placed under self-quarantine has ballooned after the country began enforcing 14-day quarantines on all passengers arriving from abroad on Apr. 1 amid worsening outbreaks in Europe and the United States.
Other Korean officials said the government lacked legal authority to compel people to wear the wristbands and that they would be asked to sign consent forms.