COVID-19: Facial recognition tech fights coronavirus in Chinese language metropolis


2021-07-13 15:27:01

On this picture launched by Xinhua Information Company, a neighborhood employee delivers each day requirements to a family below closed-off administration within the metropolis of Ruili in southwestern China’s Yunnan Province on July 8, 2021. Chinese language authorities locked down town bordering Myanmar on Wednesday, shutting most companies and requiring residents to remain at house as a recent outbreak of COVID-19 expanded.
Picture Credit score: AP

BEIJING: Facial recognition tech linked to non-public well being codes has been rolled out in a Chinese language metropolis bordering Myanmar as authorities search to squash a coronavirus outbreak.

China is without doubt one of the world’s most surveilled nations, with the federal government dashing to put in greater than 200 million CCTV cameras to “cowl all public areas” prior to now 5 years.

Surveillance has been extensively used to fight Covid-19 in China, which was the primary nation to undertake a QR code system to log take a look at outcomes and observe contacts.

However that is the primary publicly reported occasion of facial recognition getting used to trace an individual’s actions and well being standing as they enter and exit residential areas, supermarkets, transport hubs and different public locations.

“Everybody who comes out and in must have their (well being) code and face scanned to move,” officers in Ruili, in Yunnan province, instructed reporters on Saturday.

Ruili found 155 circumstances over the previous week in one of many worst virus flareups in latest months to hit China, in accordance with knowledge revealed Tuesday.

“Safety instruments resembling facial recognition cameras, sensible door locks and street boundaries (run by police or neighborhood volunteers) have been put in place in key areas,” native authorities mentioned in a press release.

The scanners may test the temperatures of people, China Nationwide Radio reported.

There are not any particulars on how lengthy the database will maintain information or whether or not officers will shut down the system, which is monitored by town’s pandemic prevention taskforce, as soon as the outbreak is contained.


Ruili, a metropolis of greater than 210,000 individuals, is a serious crossing level from Muse in neighbouring Myanmar, which has seen escalating unrest since a February 1 coup, elevating fears that individuals will flood throughout the Chinese language border to flee the violence.

Almost half of the brand new circumstances reported prior to now week had been Myanmar nationals, in accordance with the Yunnan Provincial Well being Fee, though it was not clear how they entered town.

China has adopted a zero-risk strategy to coronavirus clusters.

It has largely curbed the unfold of the illness because it first emerged within the central metropolis of Wuhan in late 2019, with powerful border controls, mass testing, lockdowns and tie-ups with large tech for monitoring.

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