Asia deploys innovative, if invasive, tech to curb virus
Hong Kong: Electronic bracelets and phones that report your whereabouts, text messages if you stray too far from quarantine and digital detectives tracking where you've been -- Asian countries have embraced innovative, if somewhat invasive, tech to counter the coronavirus pandemic.
When Hong Kong stylist Declan Chan flew home from Zurich earlier this week he was greeted by officials who placed an electronic device on his arm.
The wristband was connected to an app that he had to install on his phone as he headed into two weeks of compulsory self-quarantine at home.
It allows authorities to check his location as Hong Kong tries to halt fresh infections from people returning from overseas after two months of making impressive headway against its own outbreak.
Speaking to AFP by phone from home Chan, 36, said he was getting used to having a tracker that alerts authorities if he leaves his apartment.
"That's a bit mind boggling," he said. "But I would rather be in home quarantine than in a government centre."
Hong Kong's health authorities have held daily briefings on the outbreak. But the new bracelets were announced in a late night government press statement on Monday with little fanfare. Some 5,000 wristbands were ready for use with another 55,000 on their way, authorities said.
On Thursday, Hong Kong began ordering all arrivals from overseas to wear the bracelets. - AFP