The coronavirus is spreading and some countries have been trying out new technology to fight it. As of 23rd March 2020, the total number of novel coronavirus cases in India rose to 492(according to the Health Ministry Data). The figure includes 41 foreign nationals and 9 deaths reported so far. Kerala is the worst hit with 95 confirmed cases. Followed by Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Telangana, Delhi and Haryana.
31 states and Union Territory have declared a lockdown by late evening on Monday. It has become very essential to fight this virus. Countries like China, South Korea and Israel are using highly personalised location date to contain the spread of the virus. South Korea is the country that has flattened the curve better than any other country. Though initially, the numbers were very high(in several thousand) the country utilised the benefit of technology which helped them half the number of cases consistently within every 4 days.
In the battle against Coronavirus, privacy is at risk
Countries like the U.S. are planning to conduct discussions with the tech industry to use Americans’ location data to track the spread of the coronavirus, with Google and Facebook confirming they are exploring ways to share aggregated, anonymized data rather than location data of specific users, a point they took great pains to emphasize. But large Western democracies will likely face bigger challenges and greater pushback in trying to institute some of the tracking measures other countries have.
The most commonly used device at the moment across the world has been the infrared thermometer. Although relatively new, these thermometers have become potentially commonplace across airports and other public places. The advantage of this device is that it allows one to measure the temperature from a distance without any immediate body contact.
Futuristic technology, combined with artificial intelligence, is helping scientists and health workers identify the symptoms of Coronavirus, find new treatments, and track its spread. AI-based robots are making interactions with sick patients easier. The contagion is hard to contain, and thus a reduction of human-to-human interaction has become a necessity.
The outbreak has also prompted a major push for facial recognition. Companies like China’s SenseTime have developed software that can identify people without face masks. CCTV cameras have also been installed at most locations to ensure that those who are quarantined don’t step out.
Also, Touch-free biometric systems, interactive maps for monitoring movement and track reported cases are also in the list of tech innovations that were prompted by the virus outbreak.
The Coronavirus pandemic has become a global calamity, leaving millions vulnerable, economies shattered, and cities under lockdown. Beneath this deep dark cloud, these tech innovations are sure to be the silver lining.
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