China has launched a mobile application that can tell its users if they have come into close contact with someone who has been infected or is suspected to be infected with the coronavirus. Developed by the General Office of the State Council, the National Health Commission, and China Electronics Technology Group Corporations (CETC), the new app takes advantage of China’s extensive citizen surveillance system to track the user’s movements and determine if they were in close contact with any persons of risk.
Users sign up using their phone numbers and ID. They can then scan a QR code on many popular Chinese apps such as Alipay, WeChat, and QQ to request information on whether they have ever been in close contact with any individuals confirmed to be infected by the virus, or are suspected to have the virus. A registered phone number can request for such information for up to three different ID numbers. If the app determines that the user came into contact with an infected person at any point, the user is then advised to stay at home and contact medical authorities.
This is the Chinese government’s latest attempt at controlling the coronavirus, now called the COVID-19. As of February 14, the virus has infected over 67,000 people worldwide, with 66,484 cases coming from China alone, according to the outbreak data aggregation dashboard from Johns Hopkins. Of the 1,525 confirmed deaths so far, only 3 deaths were not from China. Clearly, China is suffering the brunt of the coronavirus and needs to bring out all the tricks under its sleeve to try and contain the virus.
Join our writing team and develop your writing skills, as you see your articles featured on Apple News, Google News, and all around the world. Subscribe to our newsletter, What Just Happened, where we dive deep into the hottest topics from the week!