Coronavirus: Malaysian firm offers AI-based system to profile visitors from China

A Malaysia Airlines employee checking the temperature of Chinese passengers before they board a flight to Beijing at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Feb 14, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) - Malaysia's MYEG Services said on Wednesday (Feb 19) it has developed a coronavirus risk-profiling system for visitors from China and was offering the artificial intelligence-based service to the governments of Malaysia and the Philippines.

Malaysia has imposed a temporary ban on visitors from Chinese provinces placed on lockdown by China's government, in a bid to stem the spread of the virus.

Malaysia has reported 22 infections, and the Philippines has reported three confirmed cases, including one death.

MYEG said its system creates a health-risk profile using a person's historical geo-location information and other parameters. MYEG has partnered with Beijing-based travel agency Phoenix Travel Worldwide for the project.

The fully automated system analyses a "vast number of available data points, including visitors' previous known whereabouts as well as heart rate and blood pressure readings, crossed-referenced against public transportation ridership and exposure to locations with incidences of infections," MYEG said in a statement to the stock exchange.

"In addition, the system provides ongoing engagement with the visitor within the country, thus enabling health authorities to be alerted of any anomalies and to take immediate appropriate measures such as in the event that evacuation or quarantine of affected persons are necessary."

The outbreak of the disease, officially called Covid-19, has sickened more than 75,000 people worldwide and killed over 2,000, most of them in mainland China. The virus is thought to have originated in Wuhan, the capital of the central Chinese province of Hubei.

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