COVIDUSOLUTION: a testimony from China


I‘m Jingyi a Chinese student who lives in Italy, whose parents are currently blocked in Shiyan, HUBEI province, known as the isolation area under the wartime-like decree.My parents were stuck at home for almost two months, fortunately they are allowed to go outside from March 16th but only one person at a time for each day.

There is no longer a time limit for staying outside, there is no more police walking around and asking where do you go, there is no app tracking your movements, and fortunately the cases of contagion have reduced, the only thing to do is to wear a mask while wearing gloves is appreciated. But if you want to enter a public space or take the bus, the first thing you need to do is showing your “Health code”, after which your temperature will be measured.

This health surveillance system functions within Alipay, a mobile and online payment platform, and everyone in the city has been assigned a color code — green, yellow or red — that indicates their health status. A green code is now being required by public transport systems, restaurants and supermarkets as an entry pass. During the quarantine, my parents are not scared, what they have is a little bit of worry, because they can buy food easily and all utilities are working as normal.

Indeed, it was difficult to buy masks, disinfectant and alcohol, because when the epidemic was happened, many factories were closed and employees were in holiday due to the Chinese New Year. With many companies transforming factories to make masks, now more than 100 million masks can be produced one day and can be brought in pharmacy and online.

When it comes to buying food or OTC medicines, purchased without prescriptions from licensed doctors, well thanks to the e-commerce my parents can make the order with Mini Programs which are small applications that function within WeChat. Like using a standard native APP, they order the food or medicine online and then pay with WeChat Pay, which works like Paypal.

Usually the food is delivered to the complex the second day after order, the customer goes downstairs to pick up the food when he receives the call from the delivery man. Who needs to buy a prescription drug should go to the hospital wearing a mask. Once they get the medical prescription and have the pill paid, they just need to take a seat and wait for their numbers to be called. The quarantine time is not too boring, at least for my parents.

My mother is addicted to cooking, she has learned to make many new dishes including cakes with the help of the app Xiachufang, an online recipe-sharing community. This might be the heaven for cooking lovers where they can find different recipes, it is also a good place for sharing dishes. The recipes are usually explained step by step with photos, but you can also find video tutorials.

With all needs taken into consideration, this app can be not only installed on phone but also accessed via the internet browser. My father is fond of watching TV, he watches news during the daytime and watches TV shows at night. To help people tide over a difficult time of self-quarantine, 15 hit TV shows are broadcast without airing fees on TV in Hubei Province. The situation differs from area to area, from city to city, what I am talking abaut is valid only for the area where my parents live.

Some websites have also talked about Robot nurses and AI Diagnoses used in many Chinese hospitals to deliver food, medicine and other supplies to patients, to disinfect hospitals and other public areas, to check patients temperatures, and to answer common questions.

Jingyi Wang

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