If Europe had the Black Death and Spain experienced the tragic Spanish flu outbreak, we now face the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, which has exposed the world to human frailty. The only consolation, thanks to the wonders of technology, is that now we are better equipped than any period of history to fight against a pandemic. When SARS hit in 2002, scientists had a difficult time; in fact, over a year, to identify the genome of the virus. Now, because of technological advancements, the COVID-19 genome was determined in only a month.
China is an example of a country that depends on advanced technology to contain and beat the coronavirus effectively. By exhausting its resources and using the latest technology, China has minimized the impact of the virus to a huge extent. And today, other countries are following suit.
While other countries tirelessly built temporary sanitation tents and makeshift hospitals, China’s construction of new hospitals was being monitored by GaoFen’s high-resolution observation satellites. This was also reinforced by Zhuhai-1 imaging satellites. Data from these satellites were analyzed at Wuhan University.
TFSTAR is an artificial intelligence satellite that is capable of performing powerful processing and analytics. Chinese scientists are using this technology in combination with geocoding to come up with a health visualization of the coronavirus. It allows people to identify the virus’s geographical reach and discover the distance of the viruses from each other and the number of active infections within a state.
In areas where the infection is severe, and people had a higher risk of getting contaminated, drones were used in their place. They transported patient samples and medical equipment to save time and hasten delivery time while completely preventing contamination.
There were various types of drones used for various functions. Agricultural drones sprayed disinfectants in the rural regions. Drones with facial recognition were utilized to announce warnings and guidelines about the pandemic. They would also reprimand citizens who were not using their face masks. The Terra, a Japanese-designed drone, carried medical appliances and other essentials in some parts of China that were struggling with the virus.
Tracking And Surveillance Systems
China is not popular for being a country that takes individual privacy of utmost importance. To efficiently beat the virus, it created a robust surveillance system by gathering people’s travel history, cellphone location data, and body temperature, among others. The data is then analyzed through Machine Learning and Big Data. In addition, CCTV cameras equipped with facial recognition features have been positioned in major quarantine facilities. The collection of data is done through the popular messaging application software WeChat. The data collected is used by the government to identify people who have come in contact with those who were infected and is then able to perform suitable measures to prevent him from further contaminating others.
Health Apps And Sensors
For public health and safety, the Chinese government has been using advanced sensors and surveillance networks. It collaborated with Tencent and Alibaba to create a color-coded health scoring system that is capable of tracking millions of their citizens daily. Yellow, red, and green smartphones were assigned to people in Hangzhou based on their medical and travel backgrounds.
This color-coding system determined whether or not a person was to be quarantined or allowed to go out and stay in public areas. People were obliged to log in to an app through pay wallet services, such as Ant’s wallet or Alipay. If a person’s phone was green, it means that he is permitted in public areas but must corresponding QR codes in offices, metro stations, and other areas. Checkpoints were also positioned to check people’s body temperatures. Currently, over 200 Chinese cities are utilizing this system.