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Sheikh Zayed Road on Thursday night, as the UAE's sterilisation drive began. Image Credit: Shreya Bhatia/Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai Police will use Artificial Intelligence before deciding whether or not to issue fines to people for moving about during the 24-hour coronavirus sterilisation programme, an official said on Monday.

Brigadier Saif Muhair Al Mazroui, Director of the Traffic Department at Dubai Police, said that AI is being used along with speed radars to identify which vehicles have movement permits or belong to people working within vital sectors.

“If you see a flash from a radar then don’t expect an immediate fine,” he said. “AI is being used and the Dubai Police system can process each radar fine and check if the plate number belongs to someone who works in a vital sector or not,” he added.

People who go out for essential purposes during the 24-hour sterilisation programme in the emirate which is set to last two weeks, need to get move permit.

“We updated the system with people from exempted and vital sectors to be recognised by the AI before issuing the fine,” Al Mazroui said.

However, even if a person didn’t get a permit and went out for essential purposes, the system can identify your path and check if you went out for an unnecessary matter.

“If you moved in your district for essential purposes then the system won’t fine you,” he added. “The system can identify the person who is violating the movement restriction by going out for an unnecessary matter. People need to keep proof like a purchase receipt to waive the fine.”

Al Mazroui added that those going out for food should also get a proper amount so they don’t have to keep returning to the shop every day.

“It’s illogical for someone to go every day to the shops to buy food,” he said. “People should buy enough food every two or three days to reduce the movement on the roads,” he added.

Dubai Police said that employees of vital sectors should only go to and from work and not take advantage of the exemption by going on unnecessary trips.

“People working in vital sectors can go to their workplace but not go and visit friends, for example,” he said. “The system has the ability to identify the route a person takes when they work in a vital sector and it will know their path from home to work,” he said.

Al Mazroui said that movement restrictions weren’t to stop people’s lives but to reduce the physical contact between people and support the sterlisation programme, which aims to prevent the spread of coronavirus to keep the public safe.

“Reducing the movement in the emirate will make the sterlisation faster. Before we needed one week to sterlise one area in Dubai, but now we can sterlise the area in one day,” he added.