How Smart Cities Are Tackling The COVID-19 Crisis?

Smart Cities Fighting Against COVID-19 Pandemic

In the battle between the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the world, technology is working as a vizier for government bodies. Since social distancing is key to avoid spreading the disease, citizens all over the world are preparing for a long sit-in. Hence, preventive actions can be seized only through streams like technology. Smart cities have encountered various innovative but beneficial aspects to slow down the upshot of the deadly disease. Have a look at how smart cities are fighting coronavirus to make the world as safe as it was a few months back. 

5G Patrol Robots 

China is a major COVID-19 infected area. As a result, it is making assorted endeavours to encompass the spread of coronavirus. To code infection precluding inspections, the country has deployed advanced 5G patrol robots. These AI beings have been formulated by Guangzhou Gosuncn Robot, a prominent provider of smart city IoT products and services.

To let you get an insight into these 5G robots we have listed their features as follows:

  • They guarantee mask-wearing in the public space. 
  • Using infrared thermometers in public areas, they can measure temperatures of citizens within a radius of five meters, 10 people at a time. 
  • The robots are provided with five high-resolution cameras.
  • These are upgraded with new skills through which they can operate as first-line police officers. 
  • Using these robots, the respective government can ensure public safety. Because manual measurement of body temperature is quite risky. 

In case someone without a mask or high temperature is detected, an alert is sent to the pertinent councils. All data is substituted to a centralised hub for decision making. 

Spreading News Using Social Media Applications

To analyse the impact of unfolding health crises on local people, Zencity has conducted a survey to identify what people are mainly talking about. Examining over 1.5 million online interactions, Zencity noticed that the topics related to social security including cancellation of events dominate community interests. Social media posts, tweets, comments, shares, retweets, likes, etc. are efficiently spreading information to stay cautious. On analysing social media interactions from over 100 US cities, Zencity found:

  • In California, school closure is the most discussed subject. 
  • Florida is worried about the apparent impact on the local economy.
  • In Texas, people cared much about the assertive measures, possible mismanagement of patients by administrations and preparedness undertakings across the state. 

Every conversation, at some point, is now passing through matters like public health, festivals/events, schools, all in association with coronavirus. Perhaps, there is not a single grown-up citizen who is kept away from information about the global epidemic. The intensity of awareness-spreading news increased at the end of February and went on rising in March. 

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Social Media Combating Coronavirus

Face Mask For Prevention Of COVID-19

Social media apps are making the task of government relatively easier. Government is delivering data on the availability of protective masks. The Ministry of Health cooperating with small and medium-size companies is retailing guarding masks through commercial channels. 

Tips on how to avoid spreading COVID-19 are circulated using social media. It connects friends and family helping people stay at home. Health authorities have introduced plenty of integral information about personal safety through social media.

Millions of people came together on 22 March expressing gratitude towards each person fighting against coronavirus. A message/tweet from a popular government authority created a huge upheaval in the entire country of India. Millions of people saluted those who are extending necessary services without caring for their safety. Such steps encourage combatants and strengthen the community. 

A Helping Hand From Tech Giants

Being so handy, social media apps do have a dark phase. Along with vital data, they also spread rumours. And a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. To provide factual and favourable information, big tech companies are taking certain endeavours as mentioned below:

  • Facebook has prohibited ads claiming a cure for the virus. 
  • Instagram has commenced pinning notice on valid health sources banning non-reputable feeds. 
  • Twitter has eliminated tweets suggesting sickness fraud theories.
  • Amazon has diminished the number of price gouging people for sanitizing items. 
  • Apple and Google have removed any misinformation apps from their respective app stores. 
  • Google in partnership with the US Government, intends to devote substantial information on the illness by launching a website.
  • In each country, Microsoft has launched a coronavirus tracker on Bing. The tracker aims to have an eye on the footmark of the confirmed COVID-19 patients. 
  • Discouraging travelling, Airbnb sets a free cancellation policy. Hence, for the next month, no fee would be charged on cancellation of reservations.
  • Uber is offering financial assistance for virus quarantine drivers. 
  • GrubHub has suspended collecting marketing fees from restaurants. (A great way to thank the lack of customers along with relieving restaurants from losing business.)
  • Food delivery apps are not stepping back in this trend of contributing to the welfare of society. To fight against the virus, US-based Postmates emerged up with fresh contactless alternatives into its app. Moreover, Instacart has introduced a new option of ‘Leave at My Door Delivery’ (assuring no human contact).

Online Coronavirus Tracking In South Korea 

South Korea is all set to fight against the virus that is engulfing the entire globe. The country has taken meaningful initiatives which helped it drop the number of cases sharply.

Making use of the latest technology, South Korea has launched an online coronavirus tracking system. It copies movements of hard-core coronavirus patients using crucial data. It uses supervision camera footage and credit card transactions of the patient.

Scrutinising the travel history, the government in South Korea sends real-time warns on the number of confirmed corona positive patients. Another “self-quarantine safety protection” app is finding its use in smart cities. Using it, people who have been quarantined can stay in touch with caseworkers. The GPS equipped in the application keeps track of their location. Hence, it ensures they are not breaking the quarantine. 

Launched on February 11, the Corona 100m app from South Korea is found to be of immense importance during this period. This app efficiently secures healthy people from infected ones. It sends an alert to keep away from the area visited by the corona infected patient. As one reaches within 100 metres of the infected person’s location, the app makes an alert helping people avert hazardous locations.

A website named Coronamap aims to reveal the travel history of COVID-19 patients. While to get information about corona affected areas, one can use another platform, Coronaita as a search engine.

Drive-through Testing

The first step towards the prevention of the virus from becoming extremely hazardous is testing people for the disease. Faster the testing faster will be the immunity. 

With its premature technology, South Korea has reacted very effectively to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The country of 51 million has come up with a quicker, safer and more convenient testing system. The country is performing fast and comprehensive testing with a highly productive system of the drive-through. It can test up to 15,000 patients daily. 

Besides, Korea is working on curtailing public anxiety providing an option for open communication between state and health administrators. The country is making efforts to increase confidence in how the country is handling the epidemic. Looking at the results, from 909 new cases on 29 February to just 76 new cases for March 15, it is clear that those efforts worked significantly. 

To bring a full stop to this pandemic, smart cities around the world should emulate the best practices. However, it is also up to the public on how they act as responsible citizens of a nation. For, only through a joint effort between the citizens, smart cities, nations and the world – we can defeat COVID-19.


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