How China is Fighting COVID-19 With a Digital QR Code


Imagine your daily activities is entirely dependent on a mobile phone app. Leaving your house, taking the train, going to work, entering restaurants and shopping malls every of your move  being dictated by the color shown on your screen. Green colour says you're free to proceed. Amber or Red barred from entry.
This has been the reality for millions of the people in China since midway through the COVID-19 pandemic and this could stay that way for the nearest future, as the country battles to recover from the coronavirus crisis.
Hopping on mobile phone app technology and big data, the Chinese government has used a color-based health code system to detect and control people's movements to further curb the spread of the COVID-19. The quick response codes which are automatically generated, also known as QR codes, are assigned to each citizens to indicate their health status.

Although the Chinese authorities are yet to make the health codes compulsory, in many of its cities, citizens without the app on their mobile phones won't be able to leave their residential compounds or access most public places.
How it Operates.
The Chinese government has engaged the help of  two of its internet giants Alibaba and Tencent to help host the health code systems on their most demanding smartphone apps.
Alibaba's Alipay app which used for payment and Tencent's Wechat app for messaging are both extensive in China, each used by hundreds of millions of people in the country and also around the world. Placing the health codes on these platforms gives easy access for many of its citizens.
As at late February, more than 200 cities already adopted to the QR codes, according to Alipay.
Tencent's health code system also already expanded to over 300 cities as of last month March 2020, according to the Chinese Science and Technology analysis.
The colors were assigned following to the provincial epidemic control database: anyone who have been diagnosed, suspected cases, people who are fever positive will receive red color code, while their close contacts will get the yellow codes; and people who gets the green codes are people without any record of fever in the database which means they're healthy and are very safe to travel.

The colors displayed by the QR codes decide people's freedom weather they are to travel or not, green code holders will be given freedom to travel within the province, amber code holders are not allowed to travel, while those with the red codes will be quarantined and treated.

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