The Chinese government has used a colour-based “health code” system to control people’s movements and curb the spread of the coronavirus – through the effectiveness of mobile technology and big data.
The automatically generated quick response codes, commonly abbreviated to QR codes, are assigned to citizens as an indicator of their health status.
The health codes are not yet mandatory in many cities but citizens without the app wouldn’t be able to leave their residential compounds or enter most public places.
From the time of the outbreak which compelled this tech-solution, the small square barcodes have remained in place and are still ruling people’s lives with the virus largely contained and lockdown measures gradually lifted across most of China. .
Other countries all over the world are keying into the tech-solutions. Japanese anticipates the adoption of a similar app. Moscow has also introduced a QR code system to track movements and enforce its coronavirus lockdown.
Xian-Sheng Hua, a health Artificial Intelligence (AI) expert at China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba said: “Technology now plays a critical rule in containing the pandemic. To stop the spread of the virus, contact tracing is an essential step and this is why similar initiatives are being adopted in places around the world.
Singapore also launched a contact-tracing smartphone app last month to fend-off Covid-19. It would allow authorities to identify people who have been exposed to Covid-19 patients.
A positive disruption we may call it – our daily routine being entirely dependent on a smart phone app.
CNN said: “Leaving your home, taking the subway, going to work, entering cafes, restaurants and shopping malls — each move, dictated by the colour shown on your screen. Green: you’re free to proceed. Amber or Red: you’re barred from entry. This has been the reality for hundreds of millions of people in China since midway through the coronavirus crisis — and it could yet stay that way for the foreseeable future, as the country battles to recover from it.”