ASX stock mitigates coronavirus by putting people back to work
Ramifications from the spread of the coronavirus continue to cut deep.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports the total cases to number more than 60,000 worldwide, following the more than 13,332 extra cases Chinese authorities reported on Thursday.
The sharp rise was due to doctors in China adopting a new way of diagnosing the disease. Officials in Hubei province, where the virus is believed to have jumped into the human population from wild animals, reported 254 new deaths and 15,152 new cases of the flu-like virus.
The increase brought the worldwide death toll to at least 1,370. Fatalities are somewhat contained, with just three of the confirmed fatalities occurring outside mainland China.
The WHO is currently determining when the extra cases of what is now being called Covid-19 occurred. In doing so, they hope to gain an exact picture of how the epidemic has been developing in Wuhan, Hubei’s capital city, and other cities in the Hubei province.
The following video explains what the coronavirus is and how it has spread.
While there have been no deaths in Australia, the social, economic and political ramifications have been significant.
Initial controversy surrounding the communication breakdown between Australian citizens in Wuhan and the Australian government was front page news, as was the re-opening of the Christmas Island detention centre, where evacuees are currently being quarantined.
All going well, these evacuees will be free to go home in a matter of days. Trade has been affected, tourism has suffered – the last thing Australian towns needed after the bushfire crisis – and the economic impact is yet to be fully realised.
The education sector alone faces an $8 billion hit.
In some good news for Chinese students, China has agreed to relax its internet restrictions, after lobbying from the higher education sector.
International students can now study online while they are banned from Australia during the coronavirus outbreak. That is more than 100,000 students whose education, before the Chinese government’s announcement, was in limbo.
With the Australian government this morning extending the travel ban, angering the Chinese government in the process, there is no firm date as to when students may return.
Part of the Chinese government’s fear, as it has always been, is the flow of non-state controlled
information to its citizens.
You’d bet the relaxation of its internet restrictions for students would have been a hard decision. However, a further issue has arisen: how to get people back to work when they can’t leave their houses.
The Chinese government has been examining ways in which the people of China can safely and securely receive information.
In doing so, the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Economics and Information Technology has selected an Australian product to help it fight the coronavirus and enable people, in Beijing in particular, to work and receive safe and secure information.
Australian company called upon to help fight the coronavirus
NetLinkz Limited (ASX:NET) owns 80% of Beijing iLinkAll Science and Technology Co. Ltd, which will help lead the fight against the virus, whilst also helping to improve information flow and work process using NetLinkz’s Virtual Secure Network (VSN).
NetLinkz provides secure and efficient cloud network solutions and has received numerous industry awards for its technology, including being a worldwide winner of the Global Security Challenge. The Company’s technology makes Fortune-500 security commercially available for organisations of all sizes.
James Tsiolis, Executive Chairman of NetLinkz said: “We are proud to be supporting the people of Beijing during an extremely difficult period for the city and the people of China. LinkAll’s VSN has been selected as the City’s first batch of ‘remote and mobile’ technology solutions to help small to medium-sized companies and their professional workers remotely log into their office and help those businesses get back to work.”
This would be of little surprise to those familiar with the technology. iLinkAll is the 2019 award winner of the Innovative Cloud Service Platform by the China Software Industry Association. It leads the China SDN market in providing innovative intelligent enterprise solutions to secure networks and assists their digital transformations.
Within the VSN, professionals can collaborate and work together point to point and in a meshed network. With so many people being forced to work from home, the company anticipates its product will be widely used by both businesses and individuals.
NetLinkz today completed a $4.5 million equity placement. Funds will be used to support an anticipated escalation in sales by iLinkAll of its VSN as a result of the Beijing Government’s appointment.
NetLinkz is in good company. The Beijing government has selected a who’s who of IT majors to combat current issues.
“The Beijing Government has released a list of selected IT enterprises in Beijing that have approved products and services aimed at assisting business and the community through the epidemic, with practical actions,” Tsiolis said.
These companies include Alibaba, Baidu, Ten Cent, Jingdong and JD.com.
Significantly, iLinkAll VSN is the only majority foreign owned company selected by the Beijing Government – testimony to the work the company has done to create a secure and trusted solution for the Chinese market including businesses and the broader community.
The IT enterprises selected cover the areas of re-establishing online working, community outbreak management, telemedicine, remote consultation, co-operation, remote video conferencing, online education, cloud games, video-on-demand, digital entertainment, live video broadcasting, network science, and other public service platforms.
Mr Tsiolis said: “We anticipate a similar program will be initiated nationally to assist other impacted cities and communities.
“We also believe being a selected provider by the Beijing Government will deliver increased visibility of our capabilities to the Chinese business community.”
Tech is a major force in the fight against the coronavirus
Researchers and start-ups are using artificial intelligence and other technologies to predict where the virus might appear next
Toronto-based BlueDot, a health surveillance company gathers disease data from myriad online sources, then uses airline flight information to make predictions about where infectious diseases may appear next (air routes, after all, are a common disease vector). It could have a huge impact on tracking the disease and any potential carriers.
Last week, Twitter launched a dedicated search prompt for India with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure that individuals receive immediate authoritative health information from the right sources.
Chinese short-video platform TikTok, has put out a warning in 8 Indian languages for its users, asking them to verify facts with trusted sources, including the WHO or resources from the local government while creating, viewing or interacting with novel coronavirus-related content.
Alibaba has partnered with The Global Health Drug Discovery Institute from Beijing, to develop an open-sourced data platform to track coronavirus using AI.
Baidu opened up LinearFold, its RNA prediction algorithm, to genetic testing agencies, epidemic prevention centres, and scientific research institutes around the world.
A statement released by Baidu said, This new tool significantly speeds up the prediction time of a virus’s RNA secondary structure, potentially providing the research community with the opportunity to better focus their efforts on developing a deeper understanding of the virus and aid in vaccine creation. As an example of LinearFold’s efficiency, Baidu’s AI scientists have already applied it to the coronavirus, reducing prediction time from 55 minutes to 27 seconds.
The tech world has come together to help make inroads in the battle against the coronavirus. This may be in helping to prevent the spread of the disease or to assist in finding a cure. Or it could be to help economies get back on their feet, by re-integrating people back into a work environment, even if they can‘t physically be at their place of employ.