Connecting Africa to China
Advanced tech helps China get back to work Advanced tech helps China get back to work
As South Africa and other African states still debate how to deal with the global pandemic of the Covid-19 virus, China, once the epicentre... Advanced tech helps China get back to work

As South Africa and other African states still debate how to deal with the global pandemic of the Covid-19 virus, China, once the epicentre of the outbreak, is recording fewer infections every day. The recovery comes after two months of proactive quarantine measures, medical treatment, and social coordination, all assisted by future tech.

Chinese officials say reported cases in China have been in steep decline since late February, and the burden on medical staff at treatment facilities is beginning to wane. 

According to Business Insider, South Korea appears to be the new centre of the fight against the pandemic. Around 760 new cases were reported on Thursday, compared to China’s 139. South Korea is experiencing significant strain on its medicare system. The government has apologised for the lack of facemasks available, and the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that the city of Daegu is responsible for 70% of the nation’s confirmed cases.

In related news, sporting events in Italy have been closed to fans, and Iranian schools have been suspended for the month. 

China’s ability to manage the spread of the pandemic within its borders owes a great deal to the use of state-of-the-art surveillance systems. 

Large tech companies in China have had an active hand in controlling the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Megvii, a Chinese software company dealing in facial recognition systems and deep-learning, has developed cameras to filter potential virus carriers. In February, the group started working on infrared cameras that incorporate facial recognition and body temperature measuring capabilities. This came after government parties called for assistance from tech companies. The company is hoping to install the cameras in high-population areas such as airports and train stations.

Authorities intend to efficiently filter infected passengers, and by doing so, minimise the risk of a future outbreak in cities or countries not yet affected. Infrared camera technology was piloted at Mudanyuan train station in Beijing. 

The specialised cameras are accurate to within 0.3 degrees Celsius. Megvii’s camera also has the ability to accurately identify people even when they are wearing facemasks.

Zeng Yixing, the deputy director of the Chinese National Health Commission, lauded the technology, saying the facial-recognition systems implemented throughout China are crucial to containing the spread of the virus. 

Doctor Cecile Viboud, an expert in epidemiology at the National Institute of Health, believes big data is critical to forecasting the developments of viruses. Dr Viboud said China’s sophisticated surveillance systems networks and data collection were helpful in combating the virus. 

Bold tracking measures used in China seem to have paid dividends. Workers outside of Beijing and Hubei no longer have to go through rigorous quarantine procedures (provided they meet certain requirements), enabling many factories and business to get back to work.


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