Preventing Coronavirus COVID-19 Transmission By Use of Digital Tech to Its Full Potential
According to recent reports, there are 159,620 individuals infected with COVID-19, and the numbers only keep increasing. Even though roughly 80% of those infected, on a global scale, experience a mild condition, it’s still a major cause for worry. In case of an epidemic, like this one, it’s our responsibility to stop it from spreading any further. The good thing is, in this day and age, we have the technology and the power to connect with people all across the world. All the things we need to do are at our fingertips, allowing us to take the load off and reduce the burden.
Even though there is no vaccine yet, and we are still studying the infection, more panic will just get the care centres and hospitals overcrowded. It won’t do us any good. Staying in tight and narrow places, waiting in areas packed with people, using public transport, and not paying any attention to personal hygiene will only spread the problem.
To minimise it, you can rely on digital technology, to at least reduce the spread a little bit at a time. Here is everything you need to know about the virus to avoid it altogether.
How does the Infection Spread?
You are probably familiar by now; spending time in highly overcrowded places in close proximity to people makes you vulnerable to the coronavirus. The most concerning part is that the virus gets transported via droplets. If an infected individual sneezes or coughs on your skin, you can get infected.
The reason for that is relatively simple. When you come in contact with the virus and then touch your nose, eyes, or mouth, the virus will get absorbed by your body and infiltrate the system. But, even though this is a new and serious pathogen, it doesn’t mean you should panic, stated Todd Ellerin, MD, for Harvard Health.
How to Prevent Corona?
According to the CDC, there are multiple key factors people need to consider if they want to prevent the virus. It’s important to:
- Maintain proper hygiene
- Reduce close contact with people
- Take sick leave (if you are infected)
- Regularly use disinfectants to clean surfaces
Since the elderly and people with chronic medical issues are more vulnerable to being infected, it’s crucial to pay attention to these factors and prevent the infection from manifesting into the body.
4 Big Ways Technology Can Help Stop the Spread
Aside from these CDC warnings, there are other strategies you can implement that could help prevent corona, and they all have to do with technology. Let’s take a look at how digital tech may prove useful.
1. Rely on Digital Payments Rather Than Cash
In the wake of COVID-19, it’s crucial to take the proper prevention strategies, and something as simple as changing the payment method can be immensely helpful. Just a few decades ago, when people only could purchase products with physical currency, this step would have been impossible. But now, we have the benefit of digital payments.
According to WHO, people should rely on digital payments rather than physical cash. Paper money is a “minefield” for germs. While the odds of them carrying the infection may not be that high, they could still have germs. The money has been used by countless people, so it’s possible the droplets could have transferred to their surface. Therefore, the CDC has advised banks to start sterilizing the money received from customers, just in case.
2. Working From Home May Be the Right Step
Recently, Twitter has encouraged its employees to work from home since it reduces the possibility for the infection getting transmitted. It may sound over the top, but it’s a step in the right direction. Just a day after they announced they would be cancelling non-essential work travels, the company went a step further to cancel the need for employees to work in the office.
That way, no work gets left behind, nor employees are exposed to harmful pathogens. Plus, people will be simplifying costs because they will be spending less on maintaining the office and a comfortable working environment. It’s all about being one step ahead, and working from home may be just it.
3. Replace Gatherings With a Conference Call
While face-to-face communication is a key factor in establishing a solid connection with employees and clients, replacing these gatherings with conference calls, helps take the load off corona, and still provides an excellent way of communication. In high-risk areas, distancing yourself from other people can help not just the business for avoiding corona, but the community as well. Something as simple as a gathering can help achieve that.
4. Check Interactive Maps to Monitor the Outbreak
Only a few years ago, it would have been impossible to get a detailed overview of the exact number of infected. Now, it’s different. With online dashboards and tracking websites, it’s much easier to stay on track. You can use these websites to visualize the whole impact of the infection and keep a tab of where the country you live in is at.
You can also check how many people have been treated and how more need treatment. Visualizing the impact is not just meant to show you the numbers, but to give you a general idea of what you need to plan for in the future. If you believe your country is among those with most infected, you can take these numbers into account and plan your next strategy for your business. With this tech, we get the fastest tracking option than ever before.
What About Digital Healthcare Tech?
Even though people should test themselves at home and know the symptoms of COVID-19, we have to look at the bigger picture. You need a long-term strategy and what better way to do that than with digital healthcare technology.
Picture a non-invasive method that takes just a minute to scan for any signs of the epidemic. This type of tech doesn’t force any physical touching. While we do have biometric scans, we have yet to implement such a health scan that could immediately detect the epidemic. Many airports, if not most of them, are already equipped with similar technology. Upon arrival, people get scanned for facial recognition, fingerprints, etc. If we had the right tech tool, we could read the signs in a similar way to biometric scans.
Genome Sequencing Can Help With Vaccine Production
We don’t have a vaccine for the coronavirus yet, but that doesn’t mean researchers have given up on it. Chinese researchers completely sequenced the Wuhan virus genome in just a month after the first person got infected. Since then, plenty of other sequencing methods have been completed.
Back in 2002, when the SARS epidemic started, it wasn’t until 2003 that the first genome was completed. Because of advanced technology, we now have the opportunity to take care of the infection much quicker than it would have taken us back then. Plus, countries are collaborating, which makes the whole process a lot easier and quicker. When it comes to developing a vaccine, these are all factors we need to consider.
While it is true that the CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) invested millions of dollars in creating a vaccine in 16 weeks, without the help of technology, it would take researchers years to complete the whole work, let alone test it and get it ready for distribution.
It’s obvious that in this case, we have technology at our advantage. It could be used to address one of the most helpful strategies in preventing the coronavirus in the long run.
With the help of history, we’ve learned that an epidemic can only keep growing unless it’s stopped on time. But, with COVID-19, the infection spreads a lot faster than most people expected. Therefore, preventing the infection from going any further becomes our responsibility.
Luckily, we have the technology to help us deal with the epidemic a little bit easier. Yes, the CDC advises us to maintain our hygiene and focus on avoiding close contact, but tech can give us the boost in the right direction. That’s why it’s a good idea to use our current technology to its full potential. While there isn’t guaranteed proof it will stop the transmission; it can at least give us another option to work with that won’t endanger the community or us. Like working from home, doing online conference calls, and using digital payment methods.
Written by The Original PC Doctor on 16/03/2020.