Tech UPTechnologyThis app tells you if you have been close...

This app tells you if you have been close to someone with coronavirus

The Chinese Administration is investing great efforts to keep the Wuhan coronavirus under control and is relying on technology to combat it. A few days ago we told you how some officials in the country were using drones to monitor citizens and warn them to wear masks or not to circulate in certain areas when there was a ‘curfew’.

However, the innovations go much further. China has launched a mobile application that allows any citizen to be notified if they have been close to a person carrying the coronavirus. Its publication took place on February 8.

The tool, called Close Contact Detector , would offer users their status when scanning a QR code using apps as popular in the country as WeChat, Alipay or Q. After registering with their phone number, they must enter their name and phone number. Government identification to know the result. The Government gives them the opportunity to verify three other identification numbers, in case they want to know the status of friends or family.

The app has been developed directly by the Chinese Administration, specifically by the General Office of the State Council, the National Health Commission and the China Electronic Technology Corporation Group (CETC) and has the collaboration of official organizations that offer accurate data, such as the country’s National Health Commission, the Ministry of Transport, the Railway Service and the Civil Aviation Administration.

What does the application take into account

The Chinese news agency Xinhua is the one that has reported the existence of the application, although it has not provided many more details of its operation. How exactly the risk of exposure is determined is unknown. However, Xinhua explains that “close contact” would refer to people who have approached at a certain distance, without effective protection, with confirmed cases, mild cases while the person was ill, or asymptomatic cases.

Those people who live at the same address, co-workers or students who share a class , but also other assumptions such as medical or nursing personnel who have been with patients in a closed environment or in the same room. Likewise, those passengers or crew personnel who have shared a trip and have been seated near patients would fall under this label.

On a flight, for example, passengers in the same row and three rows ahead and behind, as well as flight attendants, would be at risk. The rest of the passengers would fall into another category that the Chinese government calls ‘general contact’.

When the app indicates that a user has had proximity to another who is a carrier of the coronavirus or shows symptoms of being infected, they are asked to stay at their homes and to contact the local health authorities. That is, they are invited to maintain their ‘own quarantine’ as a precaution.

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