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China’s tech products help fight COVID-19 globally

(People's Daily Online)    13:26, April 08, 2020

A range of Chinese tech products from nucleic acid test kits and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to drones are playing an important role in helping countries in the global battle against the COVID-19 outbreak.

A Chinese medical worker uses an AI-based COVID-19 diagnosis platform developed by China help Iran’s efforts to fight the COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo provided by the interviewee)

China’s top gene-sequencing provider BGI Genomics and an Abu Dhabi-based technology firm recently opened the Huo-Yan, or “Fire Eye” lab, for the detection and diagnosis of COVID-19 in the United Arab Emirates. The lab is the first of its kind in the world outside China capable of carrying out tens of thousands nucleic acid tests per day.

The Chinese company also received Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its novel coronavirus test kits, which are eligible for use to expedite clinical testing for virus.

By March 27, BGI Genomics had produced more than 7 million test kits and exported them to over 70 countries and regions in the world.

In addition, Chinese AI and speech technology pioneer iFlytek has provided AI solutions for an AI outbound calling system in South Korea, offering information to individuals who have been in close contact with or have had a confirmed coronavirus case. The system provides a mechanism for following up on recovered patients while saving manpower and time, which has been of significant help to South Korea in fighting the outbreak.

“Our AI-powered calling system has benefited some 40 million people in China,” said Zhao Zhiwei, senior vice president of iFlytek.

Zhao added that the company’s AI-based COVID-19 diagnosis platform also helped Iran’s efforts to contain the virus, which can read and analyze a patient's CT scans in just three seconds.

The AI giant is currently providing its products to countries free of charge to support the international community in its attempts to defeat the virus, according to Zhao.

Moreover, Chinese drones will also be deployed in foreign countries for epidemic prevention and control work.

Police in Chula Vista, California, plan to use drones equipped with loudspeakers and cameras to enforce a coronavirus lockdown, and have bought two $11,000 drones made by the Chinese drone maker DJI.

One of the police captains said that the DJI drone can help them if they need to cover a large area to get an announcement out, or if they need to disperse a crowd somewhere without getting police officers involved.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)

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