Spanish Police Use Drones to Keep People Home

George Orwell’s Big Brother is getting to be more of a reality every day. First, it happened in China, and now Spain is employing drones tell people to go home to help fight the spread of the coronavirus. The move happened after Spain reached 288 deaths from the virus, making it the second worst-hit country following Italy.

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Police in Spain have been using drones to check the streets

Spain declared a state of emergency, ordering its citizens to stay indoors for everything but the most vital trips. A recent spike in the number of cases—over 95,000 according to the World Health Organisation which makes Spain the third largest in the world after the US and Italy, but Spain is taking to more drastic measures to help stem the spread. China previously used drones and other technologies to urge its citizens to stay inside, and Spain is borrowing the tactic. Footage of the drones in Spain were posted on Sunday, March 15, by the BBC News. The deserted streets of Madrid were being policed by the drones, which were controlled by human officers. Warnings were relayed over loudspeakers carried by the drones, urging citizens to vacate public areas and return home. On their Twitter page, the Madrid police shared the video and stated: “We will not hesitate to use all the means at our disposal to ensure your security and that of everyone, although some still make it difficult for us.” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has been urging the over 40 million citizens of Spain to do all they can to help prevent the spread.

France has also been put on lockdown, and starting on Thursday, March 19, the city of Nice also began flying drones. China, which first used the approach, also employed facial recognition software to identify people who were ignoring the instructions to remain in their homes. Whether that’s where Spain and France are headed—and whether other countries will follow suit—is yet to be seen.

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