Artificial Intelligence: A Tool to Curb COVID-19 in Middle East

Artificial Intelligence: A Tool to Curb COVID-19 in Middle East 

Last updated on May 19th, 2020

The Middle East is fighting the coronavirus in its own novel way. Countries that form part of the Gulf Cooperation Council appear to be one step ahead as they use artificial intelligence tools to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Middle Eastern countries, such as Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait are implementing some of the strictest, life-saving measures, including suspending passenger flights and imposing curfews to prevent emergence of new cases of COVID-19.

Using artificial intelligence as the best possible way to limit the movement & social distancing in the Middle East. Drones, cameras & robots are the sophisticated technology being used to monitor and track the activity of the residents living in these regions.

Artificial intelligence’s ability to crunch large amounts of data has allowed governments worldwide to collect information to try and stop the pandemic while contact tracing has allowed Hong Kong, China & Singapore to monitor cases.

Bahrain has been using an application, ‘BeAware’, which allows residents to track and avoid proximity to someone with COVID-19. The application uses location data to alert individuals in the event they approach an active case. There is compulsion to register in ‘BeAware’ app for those in quarantine, while non-quarantined cases may choose to register.

Saudi-based hypermarket and supermarket chains are using ‘aisle-mapping’ technology to minimise delivery time. The Kingdom has extended its curfew and the nation is in complete lockdown.

Qatar is also involved in using computing and geolocation services to help diagnose and track COVID-19 cases throughout the country by working with the Qatar Computing Research Institute on a diagnostic monitoring app, which is connected to a ministry of health database.

Use of artificial intelligence is being reported in the United Arab Emirates as well. It limits the movement of Dubai residents. Dubai police is also concerned about monitoring permits required by residents leaving their homes in the region’s business hub & are using a program called ‘Oyoon’ through which a network of cameras in the city uses facial, voice and license plate recognition. Nabta Health, UAE-based healthcare startup, will also use AI to provide risk and symptom assessments for Covid-19.

Besides protecting their citizens, migrant workforce, which forms a large chunk of each Gulf state, are also being benefited from these measures.

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