Technology has really aided the fight against Covid-19.
China, for instance, is using robots to disinfect hospitals and deliver medical supplies.
Who says we should be afraid of A.I?
And Singapore created an app that can detect if you’re in close proximity with another user to support contact tracing efforts.
It’s hard enough to combat a pandemic even with such advanced technology, imagine where we’d be without it.
And with the rise in coronavirus infections recently, we’ll take any help we can get.
Lockdown That isn’t a Lockdown
On 3 April, PM Lee announced that the country will be implementing more drastic measures due to the increase in locally-transmitted Covid-19 cases.
This includes the closure of schools and non-essential workplaces for a month, with workplaces shuttering on 7 April, and schools closing on 8 April.
Residents are also advised to stay at home as much as possible, and PM Lee has advised everyone to avoid visiting others, especially the elderly.
He didn’t actually use the word “lockdown” but it certainly sounds like one. I think the word “lockdown” for the authorities is a bit like saying “Voldermort” in the Harry Potter world – it’s the extreme measure that shall not be named.
Only essential services including supermarkets, clinics, hospitals, and eateries will remain accessible to the public during this period, which will last for at least a month.
But humans were not made to be cooped up in confined spaces, so we’re bound to go mad if we don’t go outside.
And thankfully, while the Government is strongly advising us to stay at home, PM Lee said that in addition to buying food and groceries, residents can also go out to exercise in the neighbourhood parks, as long as we keep a safe distance from others.
But why waste time travelling to the park if you’re only going to abandon your exercise plans the minute you see it’s crowded?
Well, that’s where NParks comes in.
NParks Now Has a Real-Time Platform That Shows How Crowded Their Parks Are
Before you head out for your exercise, you can now track crowd levels in real-time with an interactive webpage developed by NParks.
On the webpage, visitorship status is marked by three colours: orange (high), yellow (moderate) and green (low).
The status is updated from data collected by NParks staff on the ground, as well as visitor count systems.
So obviously, if a park has high visitorship, you should probably postpone your exercise plans or go to a different park.
Even if the park has low or moderate visitorship, you should still remember to practise social distancing and maintain a safe distance of at least one metre from visitors.
Just because we have to keep our distance from others doesn’t mean we should stop keeping fit.
Reader: Does looking for shows on Netflix count as exercise?
Not really, no.
Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee also reminded people to only go out with immediate family in order to reduce social interactions during this period.
The app works by exchanging short-distance Bluetooth signals between phones to detect other users of the app who are in close proximity.
So, if you happen to come into contact with someone who has Covid-19, you could help the authorities by handing over these logs (only under your authorisation) as information for contact tracing.
And if you don’t come into close contact with any reported Covid-19 cases, TraceTogether data that are older than 21 days will automatically be deleted. Pretty nifty, right?
The authorities are giving us all the tools to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Now, it’s just up to us to use them.
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