Drones take Italians’ temperature and issue fines
Treviolo: The hovering drone emits a mechanical buzz reminiscent of a wasp and shouts down instructions in a tinny voice.
"Attention! You are in a prohibited area. Get out immediately," commands the drone, about the size of a loaf of bread.
A heat sensor takes the offender’s temperature and sends the information to a drone operator, who stares at a thermal map on his hand-held screen.
"Violations of the regulations result in administrative and criminal penalties," the drone says.
Italy’s coronavirus epicentre in the northern province of Bergamo, in Lombardy region, has had enough of people spreading COVID-19.
"Once a person’s temperature is read by the drone, you must still stop that person and measure their temperature with a normal thermometer," Matteo Copia, police commander in Treviolo, near Bergamo, told AFP.
"But drones are useful for controlling the territory."
One in 1,000 dead
Italy was the first Western democracy to enter a national lockdown in the face of a disease that has officially killed more than 18,000 in the Mediterranean country and nearly 100,000 worldwide.
It is now one of several European nations using police drones to an extent that would have seemed unimaginable -- and almost certainly unacceptable -- just a month ago.
Drones keep people off Paris’s river quays and monitor water consumption in Spain. - AFP