An aerial view of Matang Jaya roundabout captured by a police drone.

KUCHING: Sarawak police are now using drones at selected areas to monitor the public during the movement control order (MCO) period.

An obvious advantage of this is the fact that police-people interactions are minimised, thus lessening the risks of transmitting or contracting Covid-19.

At the same time, drones can survey wider areas and send fast warnings about errant individuals who defy the order.

In a statement, Police Air Wing Unit (PGU) commander, ACP Alias Abdul Wahab, said currently their surveillance drones cover Kuching and Padawan districts.

He said reports and aerial pictures were directly transmitted to Bukit Aman, whereas information on people defying the MCO are channelled to the district police headquarters which then take action against the violators.

Alias believes that using the drones was more efficient and effective.

To be fair to the general public, most people in the city are aware of the MCO and have been cooperative by staying indoors.

“This is helpful as we are fighting to break the Covid-19 chain of transmission,” he said.

Drone flights are frequently carried out over Petra Jaya, Kampung Gersik, Kampung Boyan, Sarawak State Legislative Assembly complex and Bangunan Baitulmal (Masja).

Other areas covered are iCom Square, Kuching Waterfront, Jalan Song, Friendship Park, Taman BDC and MJC Batu Kawa.

At night, the operations are carried out in Satok, Jalan Badruddin, Sarawak General Hospital, Emart Matang, Metrocity Matang, Taman Matang Avenue, Taman Matang Jaya, Taman Yen Yen and Taman Syn Syn.