Governments in India’s Hyderabad and Punjab regions have joined a growing list of authorities in India and neighbouring Pakistan in restricting the use of fingerprint-based biometric systems amid fears of the spread of COVID-19.
The Punjab government was joined by the Punjab State Transmission Corporation Limited (PSTCL) in directing its thousands of employees to abstain from using the fingerprint scanners for clocking in and out of work.
The state is also working on launching COVA, a coronavirus alert app that will provide details like affected areas, number of cases, and general awareness tips, which is expected to be released some time next week.
In Hyderabad, companies have been instructed to disable any fingerprint-based attendance systems and revert back to card-based systems or facial biometrics if available.
The disabling of fingerprint-based biometrics is one of the measures for preventing the spread of COVID-19 that was shared at a meeting of roughly 200 representatives of IT companies from the region.
At a gathering at the Hyderabad Police Commissionerate, the representatives were give a set of Standard Operating Procedures in the case of the virus being detected on their premises.
“We also informed them that we will be forming a sub-committee which will be issuing circulars on the current status, and companies can rely on them to take any further action,” said Hyderabad Software Enterprises Association (Hysea) president Murali Bollu.
The spread of COVID-19 — commonly known as the coronavirus — has alarmed governments around the world in recent weeks. Conferences, sporting events, and religious festivals around the world have been canceled or have restricted public access to help stop the spread of the virus. To date there have been over 100,000 confirmed cases around the world, with over 3,400 deaths.
March 6, 2020 – by Tony Bitzionis