When reports of the Corona virus in China first reached our shores, we also learned about some of the methods the Chinese authorities were using to try and contain it and prevent it from spreading to the pandemic proportions we’re seeing globally, now.
Drones equipped with cameras and loudspeakers:
It’s hard to imagine a flying object swooping down from the skies to reprimand pedestrians, but that was exactly what was happening in China recently. If you were found walking around without a face mask, a police-operated drone would scold you and remind you of the necessity to wear them when out in public. Presumably when curfews were enforced, drones were being used to round up anyone found on the streets without an urgent need to be there, in much the same way.
China’s history of using drones for surveillance and other purposes:
For the past 4 years China has been using drones – some of which are disguised as birds – on a vast scale to try and locate fugitives on the run, catch those who have broken traffic laws, monitor students who are siting exams and to keep a close eye on their borders to catch and prevent anyone from trying to enter the country illegally.
Critics view the use of drones in such a way as being heavy-handed and intrusive, but with the recent outbreak of COVID-19, they have been used extensively to try and limit the spread of the virus, making it hard for critics to remain sceptical about their use.
Rural areas are where drones are being used for perhaps the greatest good, where there are fewer hospitals and fewer ways to communicate important information about the virus, publicly.
How else are drones being used to help combat the virus?
Aside from reprimanding those seen not wearing masks, it’s thought that drones have also been used to facilitate medical inspections, monitor the ways in which hospitals are getting rid of their medical waste, and to inspect traffic stops in which drivers have been having their temperatures checked.
Some reports also state that the government are using drones to spray disinfectant over cities and villages, claiming that it is effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19 via contaminated surfaces and is useful for ensuring that those vehicles travelling to and from affected areas, don’t spread it around and bring it back home.
Whatever you think about China and the methods it deploys to monitor its’ citizens, they cannot be accused of doing nothing to combat the virus, even if they were accused of hiding the outbreak when the first reports of COVID-19 occurred. With China playing such a significant ole in the global economy, for the country to be back functioning normally with limited restrictions, doubtless works in everyone’s favour.