Coronavirus has become a pandemic (announced by WHO on 12-03-2020) and affected at least 170 countries and territories. Over 50,000 people have died from COVID-19, Wuhan originated viral infection that develops respiratory illness in the infected person. There is no treatment available for Coronavirus for now. You can take protective measures by maintaining your hygiene and washing your hands frequently. To contribute efforts, CDC and Apple came together to release a screening app and website for the users with which they can screen themselves for COVID-19 symptoms. This app is a response to the pandemic by a tech platform.
Both the app and website tools were made in partnership with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the Federal Emergency Management and White House’s Task Force. There are a questionnaire and details about the novel coronavirus.
As per Apple, the latest app tool will not gather or save users’ answers to the questionnaire. It will rather collect anonymous data about the use of the tools. The interesting part is users don’t need an Apple account to access the screening tools.
Apple has also announced that it will be donating 10 million face masks throughout the US and Europe. The Ops teams are assisting the company to find and get masks from the supply chain while taking the governments around the globe in the loop.
The app is created to assist users to stay informed, understand and detect symptoms and take proper measures to protect their health. As far as privacy protection is concerned, the user data and privacy stay protected. The app and website tools are intended to let people access trusted information and guidance at a place across the world.
How other companies are fighting against Coronavirus?
The Coronavirus pandemic seems unstoppable- both in the literal sense of its spreading and in the figurative sense since more number of countries are taking strict measures and citizens stocking up on groceries and essentials for a long curfew. While people are practicing social distancing and working from home, major social media companies are taking stringent measures to limit the spread of rumors and misinformation about the Coronavirus. Online portals have changed the settings of their products listing- users can order only essential products like edible oils, foods, vegetables, and groceries. Let’s learn which software outsourcing company is taking what step to fight Coronavirus-
Facebook is banning ads related to Coronavirus cure and is sharing trusted sources of information like the World Health Organisation and local resources. The social media platform is also offering free ad space to WHO to deliver its message widespread.
Instagram is pinning a notice to the top of users' feed which opens a link to the trusted health sources. The app is also revoking in-app effects related to COVID-19 that is not sourced from reputed health channel.
Twitter is trying its best to remove tweets related to Coronavirus conspiracy theories. It is also warning the brands to take the situation carefully.
Amazon is preventing the sellers to sell necessary items like toilet paper, face masks, and hand sanitizers at high prices. The company also partners with Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, and Google to promote work from home option among employees.
Airbnb revealed its no-questions-asked free cancellation policy for the April month. This implies any individual who cancels his/her reservation for any reason, regardless of how close it is to the travel date, he/she doesn’t need to pay extra fee for cancellation.
Uber is providing two weeks of financial support for quarantine drivers.
Food delivery service providing app Instacart has added a “Leave at My Door Delivery” option for its users who are encouraging limited human contact during a pandemic.
Companies are involving Artificial Intelligence Technology to fight this pandemic COVID-19. For instance, scientists at South-Korea based company Deargen published a pre-print paper (a paper that is still yet to be published for other scientists). In the paper, they shared the results they acquired from a deep-learning-based model MT-DTI. MT-DTI uses easy to grasp chemical sequences and not the 3D or 2D molecular structures to reveal the strength of a test molecule to bind a target protein.
Deargen is now applying deep learning technology for producing new and advanced antivirals. However, the company will need some support from pharmaceutical companies and research institutes to test their drugs.
IT Tech Companies May Encounter Extra Pressure for Sharing Location
People around the world now understand the significance of staying away from everyone else for a time being. Many cities have banned all non-essential travel, such as San Francisco. India is lockdown for 21 days; daily wagers are struggling for their survival.
Now, there is extreme pressure putting on IT tech companies by governments to share location data to track novel coronavirus. The government will monitor user location to ensure he/she is practicing social distancing most of the time. Google, for instance, shows popular restaurant times and traffic patterns within the GMaps. This type of data sharing would follow stringent privacy policies of Google and would not include sharing data about the location, contacts, or moves of the individual.
The whole world is getting together to fight this fatal infectious virus. Most of the people are already taking it as a world war 3. So far, the only treatment available to vanish this coronavirus is to follow lockdown and maintain social distancing for some time until there are zero cases of novel coronavirus infection.