Published: Wed, February 12, 2020
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Chinese app reveals if citizens have been in contact with the coronavirus

Chinese app reveals if citizens have been in contact with the coronavirus

It said to make an inquiry, a user first has to scan a QR code using mobile apps like Alipay, WeChat or QQ. If close contact with a person who has contracted the virus is confirmed, the potential coronavirus victims are advised to stay home and inform local health authorities.

Xinhua said the General Office of the State Council (an agency of the State Council that assists in the day-to-day administration of the Chinese government), state-owned enterprise China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC) and NHC had roles in developing the app. After having registered with a phone number, users need put in their name and national identity number to track their activity against the movement of known people who are infected to gauge their risk level.

The Chinese government and state-run technology company developed a mobile application that will alert consumers when they are at risk of contracting the deadly Coronavirus, which has killed more than 900 people. The all new SCMP China AI Report gives you exclusive first-hand insights and analysis into the latest industry developments, and actionable and objective intelligence about China AI that you should be equipped with.

"In China, and across Asia, data is not seen as something to be locked down, it's something that can be used", Hong Kong-based tech lawyer Carolyn Bigg told the BBC.

According to the National Health Commission, close contact refers to someone who has come in close distance, with no effective protection, with confirmed cases, suspected cases or mild cases while the person was ill or showed asymptomatic cases in the following conditions.

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According to Xinhua, "close contact" includes people who work together, share a classroom or live in the same house, as well as medical professionals working with patients, and passengers on mass transit.

"From a Chinese perspective this is a really useful service for people".

On a full-enclosed air-condition train, all passengers and crew members in the same compartment are regarded as being in close contact.

Maybe this is one of the few times China's diligent data recording of its citizens comes in handy.

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