Yo-yoing lockdowns are costly and to be avoided if at all possible. Here is what we can do to dramatically improve testing and tracing.
Are you ready to start sharing your personal information with an app developed by Google and Apple?
In response to the Covid-19 epidemic, more than 50 countries have developed tracing applications to help alert citizens and authorities when outbreaks occur. But the process is anything but simple.
United Nations COVID-19 Response/Unsplash
On a family camping trip over the Australia Day long weekend, I sat in a tent with my laptop, designing New South Wales’ first genomic sequencing test for COVID-19.
South Korea’s success in containing COVID-19 came at the price of sacrificing privacy.
AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon
Effective national leadership and trust in government appear to be prerequisites for countries to achieve widespread digital contact tracing.
While the delay to releasing the app is disappointing, it’s a chance to use behavioural science to optimise its design.
‘You have an alert.’
The reason the UK contact-tracing apps failed? It fell foul of privacy rules decided in California.
Contact tracing for sexual health has been taking place in England for many years. Why was this workforce ignored in the coronavirus response?
South Africa must redirect efforts to managing the high-risk social spaces such as public transport.
South Africa's testing and tracing has not been at a level needed to suppress the spread of COVID-19. It must now focus on containing opportunities for super-spreading and transmissions.
Maintaining social distancing is a challenge as workplaces reopen during the coronavirus pandemic.
miodrag ignjatovic/E+ via Getty Images
Smartphone apps and wearable devices can tell when workers have been within six feet of each other, promising to help curb the coronavirus. But they're not all the same when it comes to privacy.
A robot dog called Spot patrols a Singapore park playing a recorded message telling people to observe physical distancing measures.
Smart city solutions have proved handy for curbing the contagion, but recent experience has also shown how much they rely on public trust. And that in turn depends on transparency and robust safeguards
COVIDSafe uses Bluetooth radio waves. These can only measure how physically close two people are, but not if those people are in the same room, or even in different cars passing each other.
Data privacy is a major concern but people seem willing to download the app.
Only 51% of survey participants said they supported linking the number of COVIDSafe app downloads with an easing of lockdown restrictions.
Lukas Koch / AAP
A proposed fix to help the COVIDSafe app work on Apple phones may come with costs to public health and accountability.
Despite criticism, the NHS COVID-19 contact tracing app seems well designed.
From conflicts with specialised medical devices, through to unresolved problems with iPhone functionality, COVIDSafe is in need of updates. A major one may come within the next few weeks.
A critical problem with the bill is it allows the federal government to collect much more personal data from COVIDSafe users than is necessary for contact tracing.
Apps that warn about close contact with COVID-19 cases are key to relaxing social distancing rules.
Walter Bibikow/Stone via Getty Images
Bluetooth wireless communication makes it possible for people to get alerts on their phones when they've been exposed to the coronavirus. Adding the right cryptography scheme keeps those alerts private.
Police in Bhopal, India use a drone to monitor adherence to lockdown measures.
Start-ups in India, many in Kerala, have taken up the challenge of finding innovative solutions to the problems raised by COVID-19.
One bespoke contact tracing device is a bluetooth 'pen' device, which can be handed in if diagnosed without relying on smartphones.