: Uttar Pradesh (UP) health officials announced on Monday that if coronavirus (Covid-19) positive patients’ contacts, who have been put under home quarantine, violate protocol, then their cellphones will be put under surveillance and also strict legal action will be taken against them.

About two dozen contacts of the two positive cases — a 35-year-old woman doctor and a 20-year-old — have been put under home quarantine in Lucknow.

“We want the contacts to cooperate with us and follow the protocol. It is not possible to monitor every contact of the positive cases. If anyone violates the protocol, the person will face legal action,” said Dr Narendra Agrawal, chief medical officer, Lucknow.

“We cannot lock houses. The contacts themselves have to behave in a responsible manner and stay at home,” said Dr KP Tripathi, a colleague of Dr Agrawal.

“If there is a complaint about a contact, the person’s location will be tracked via his/her cellphone number and also on the basis of the statements from their neighbours,” he added.

As per protocol, the contacts are required to remain in their homes for 14 days of observation to ensure they do not pass the infection to anyone else. A vegetable vendor has been found among the contacts, as he interacted with people in the house in which one person tested positive.

A command-and-control centre to contain the Covid-19 spread has been started for Lucknow district. The centre comprises officials from the health department, the municipal corporation, the police and district administration that will ensure strict compliance of protocol.

“The centre has officials who will also coordinate with their respective departments to contain the virus spread,” said Dr Agrawal.

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