Police in Spain, which is under lockdown to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, are embracing tech during this global pandemic. This weekend, officers in the capital city, Madrid, began using very loud drones to tell people that are out and about during this crisis to stay home.
The measure was announced by the municipal police on its Twitter page, which also included a video demonstration of the drones in action. In the video, you can see a Madrid police officer maneuvering the drone, handily equipped with a speaker. Police then proceed to tell the people in the area to only go outside only when it is strictly necessary and to remain at home.
“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 police wrote on Twitter. “Although some of you will give us a hard time.”
ENAIRE, Spain’s air navigation manager, announced on Twitter that it was coordinating with the Madrid police in the drone operation as well as with the country’s Air Force. The goal, per ENAIRE, was “to remind the public to stay at home.”
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced a state of emergency and a nationwide lockdown for 15 days on Saturday due to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19. The government said the measures were being taken to protect the country’s population, contain the progression of the disease and bolster the country’s healthcare system.
Spain was the second country in Europe to lockdown its population, which stands at 47 million. Italy has the worst outbreak in Europe and imposed a countrywide lockdown a few days before Spain.
This weekend, France announced sweeping measures that closed shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. Germany and Portugal said they would close some of their borders to contain the virus.
As of Sunday, Spain had 7,753 confirmed cases and 288 deaths, according to the Spanish Health Ministry and local media outlets. Nearly half of them are in the Madrid region, home to the country’s capital city. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that Italy had 21,157 cases and 1,441 deaths.
Before the announcement of the official lockdown in Spain, police and other government authorities were working to get people out of public spaces, such as parks, and urging them to respect the guidance issued by health authorities. People who break quarantine in Spain can be fined up to €600,000 euros and face prison time.