The Hong Kong government has announced a plan to place 500 electronic wristbands on individuals suspected of being infected by the Wuhan coronavirus.

The Department of Health said wristbands are “ready to monitor Hong Kong people placed into quarantine in their own homes if they return to the SAR after having spent time in Hubei province.”

The wristbands will be connected to the wearer’s smartphone via Bluetooth and if the wristband moves too far away from the phone or the phone leaves the permitted area, an alert will be sent to the authorities.

Destroying or taking off the wristband would also be considered a breach of the quarantine.

Wristbands would not be equipped with GPS and officials would first try to reach users on their mobile phones should a breach occur.

Victor Lam Wai-kiu, the government’s chief information officer, said the wristbands aren’t equipped with GPS tracking because, “These are people who have to be quarantined at home, they are not criminals, so we agree we have to respect their privacy.”

A prison term of up to six months and a fine of HK$5,000 (US-$641) is the punishment for those who violate the quarantine order.


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