Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) is using location tracking technology to monitor the safety of its 17,000 students and staff during the implementation of Malaysia’s Movement Control Order (MCO). On 18 March 2020, Malaysia began implementing a cordon sanitaire, known as MCO, as a preventive measure in the light of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr R Badlishah Ahmad said through the technology, once UniMAP students and staff update their locations the university would be able to know where they are throughout the MCO period.
The global positioning system (GPS) technology was initially utilised to replace the thumb print attendance and access mechanism used at the university, as part of an initiative to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 infection. However, as the situation developed, UniMAP management felt it necessary to extend the initiative to the monitoring of nearly 15,000 students and 2,000 UniMAP staff. The tracking technology not only locates where the university students and staff are but also matches the locations to areas with varying levels of COVID-19 case densities. The data will further facilitate the university in strategizing its actions when students and staff are eventually allowed to return to campus. Such strategies may include putting up additional health screening requirements on students and staff from particular locations, and imposing a staggered schedule for people to come back to campus, based on their locations. To ensure data security, access is limited to only a few individuals at the university.