Beating Coronavirus With Electronic Quarantines and Contact Tracing

Taiwan and South Korea have had abundant testing of Coronavirus. Taiwan started investigating in December of 2019. Taiwan used social media to monitor the initial reports of an unusual disease. They sent two doctors to investigate in December. Taiwan was monitoring while China’s leaders were still in denial.

Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam and other Asian countries built disease command centers and set up systems for integrating immigration and other databases with hospital medical record systems.

Taiwan activated their disease command centers in January.

Those actions are only good for next time.

In terms of what is useful lessons for right now. Do not believe official reports. Do not believe the World Health Organization. Use Big Data and social media monitoring and other technology to directly detect and monitor outbreaks.

The actions still depend upon massive testing. Taiwan is able to test everyone who needs testing at the airport and results are available in minutes to hours. The people with suspected cases are not allowed to be on public transportation. Contracted taxis take the person or possibly group to where they will self-isolate. They have a mobile phone app placed onto their smartphone. The self-isolating cases are constantly monitored. They get visits from Taiwan center for disease control (CDC). The self-isolating (quarantined) people get food deliveries. The phone app monitors their location so if they break quarantine they are detected. Anyone breaking quarantine has a large fine.

South Korea is reporting that the number of airport tests means that getting results is taking more than 6 hours. South Korea puts people into a holding area for a day while they wait for tests.

All suspected cases have to have quarantines enforced.

Singapore has created a phone app that uses bluetooth to detect if a 30+ minute contact has been made with any other person. This log is used to provide a first pass automatic contact trace log.

South Korea’s monitoring app sounds an alarm if someone breaks quarantine. The monitored person must also enter systems two times a day.

People are contacted if they fail to enter their systems as required or fail to properly follow the procedures.

8 thoughts on “Beating Coronavirus With Electronic Quarantines and Contact Tracing”

  1. It’s a study, not saying it’s absolute fact. Fact is, nobody knows. I’d question the other studies that show the high death rates. Truth will somewhere in the middle. It’s going to be a very bad flu season death toll. Bad, but not the end of the world some predict.

  2. I’m not so sure Japan is a good example. They slowed down the spread, but couldn’t stop it. And now their case growth rate has increases again, for the 3rd time. Maybe going exponential this time, it’s still early to tell (they’ve been piece-wise linear so far).

    Also, part of the reason they haven’t placed stricter quarantines, is they don’t have the legal framework for it.

  3. I’d have to wonder about any study that estimates that 1 in 3 Italians have already gotten COVID19 and most of them apparently didn’t know it and all health officials have apparently completely missed it.

    160x the current confirmed case count indicates either an error in their modelling or a massive error in the estimates based on empirical data gathered by other pandemic experts in their evaluation of COVID19.

    I’d love to believe it, because the US would be over it in 2-3 more weeks. Sadly, I don’t think I can.

    Also – the case fatality rate is specifically for diagnosed cases. You’re talking about an excess mortality rate.

  4. A Milan University study estimates up to 20 million Italians are covid-19 “cases” including mildly/asymptomatic persons. So case-fatality ratio may eventually be a maximum of 50,000-60,000 deaths/20 million, or 0.25% to 0.30% mortality rate.

  5. There are many lessons to learn. Application of logic and data to this life or death problem would seem the obvious approach. Instead DeBlasio threatens to imprison religious observers and Los Angeles county threatens to imprison recreational surfers. Madness.

  6. Totally, you need to look at Japan in this context. Very little testing, but they were very diligent in conducting manual  epidemiological studies and are able to isolate infected people relaying on that without closing their country to the same extent as we and many European countries resorted to.

    Some countries have started to use all this data to automatically evaluate who need to be tested and send the selected for a test via a text message.

    We can adjust such data analysis in the future with more parameters that already show who is most likely to get infected, like age blood type, blood pressure, obesity, heart problems, cancer, diabetes and ultimately the main root cause of it all, the level of inflammation in the body.

    Warning: As Edward Snowden has shown governments are not quick to stop monitoring people when they don’t have to anymore, so there should be an independent oversight.

    And finally there is a very simple test that does not require much of a kit that some specialists are already formulating, it is based on the observation that 60% of the time the first symptom of Covid 19 is the loss of the sense of smell and taste, much higher than in the flu.

  7. Taiwan still has functioning airports. It is not a lockdown nation. And yet if any nation should be full of Wuhan virus it is Taiwan, due to the close links in the business community between ROC and the other China on the mainland.

    The CCP refused to allow independent medical observers into the hot zone, in case they might find something reflecting badly on the mainland’s management of the crisis. Such as the fact that the rest of the world was unnecessarily infected with a bat virus leaked from a Wuhan facility.

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