The epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, is a ghost town since China quarantined the nearly 11 million people living in the city.
Eerie footage shot by drones show the empty streets as people stay home for fear of infections. Now, individuals and companies in China are expanding their use of drones across the country to include broadcasting announcements, spraying disinfectant and taking people’s temperature.
In an attempt to control the spread of the disease and monitor people’s behaviour, the drones fly around searching for people walking around without masks and admonishing them for it.
In footage compiled by Global Times, an old woman is told off by a voice from the drone which tells her she should be wearing a mask and she needs to go home and put one on.
Walking around without a protective face mask? Well, you can’t avoid these sharp-tongued drones! Many village and cities in China are using drones equipped with speakers to patrol during the #coronavirus outbreak. pic.twitter.com/ILbLmlkL9R
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) January 31, 2020
According to Bloomberg, an agricultural drone manufacturer is working on a fleet of drones which could spray disinfectant in affected areas.
Another manufacturer in China’s Anhui Province is already using drones to disinfect public spaces, according to CGTN.
In a post from state media on Twitter, those who don’t want to get their temperature taken at a hospital in Jiangxi province are being offered the service via drone to their balcony.
Fear physical contact amid the #CoronavirusOutbreak? How about having your temperature taken by a drone? At Zhangjiashan community in E China’s Jiangxi, you only need to stand on your balcony for a temperature check. pic.twitter.com/zU5lqWljxd
— People’s Daily, China (@PDChina) February 3, 2020
“Most western citizens might freak out about this because of privacy concerns,” Mark Tanner, managing director of Shanghai-based tech consultancy firm China Skinny told Bloomberg, “In China, people are so used to surveillance they might not react as strongly.”
Image: @joshMarshall/ Twitter