Before coronavirus pandemic, more than half of the world was burning in the fire of warfare. Military operations, surgical strikes, terrorism, and weaponization were mainstream news. There was chaos around the world on both the International and national level. The world economy was consisted up on war budgets. Then Coronavirus appeared and the whole world bent down to ceasefire.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is need of Covid-19 pandemic era
Since all aspects of life were devastated by this pandemic, including jobs, gatherings, business, etc., a new approach to deal with this secondary threat was necessary. When you think of replacing human at the workplace, only one solution comes to mind, i.e. Artificial Intelligence (AI). Automation has been considered as a threat to human employment. But now, nobody can think anything else except the AI and robotics as modern salvation. In this article, we shall see how states changed their direction from weapons to robots and AI to cope with life problems.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported in China’s city of Wuhan. In the beginning, it was not taken seriously but over time, COVID-19 proved itself worthy of global attention. All the governments and states were forced to put aside petty grievances and focus on the pandemic. Public health policies were redesigned and war adventures were halted.
The world’s superpowers are now forced to cut the defense budgets and assign more grants to a medical emergency. This can devastate the long term war goals and all previous investment may lay waste. In this article, we shall discuss the warfare budget cuts and medical grants for fighting against COVID-19.
How China is focusing on Healthcare rather than defense?
China’s expected health expenditure will be around $1 trillion by 2020, while China’s defense budget is $177.6 billion. This makes China the 2nd most spender on defense. Analytics firm GlobalData has predicted that the world may face a shortage of 880,000 ventilators during the COVID-19 outbreak. China is apt for accepting this challenge and working continuously to provide the world with the lifesaving breath. China has received a demand for 20,000 ventilators from different countries. They are working 24.7 to meet the global as well as local demand.
There are 21 ventilator manufacturing companies in China. Eight of them just received European standard clearance for export. These eight companies produce 20% of the total global production of ventilators. These firms can make 2200 ventilators in a week.
The whole world has known what the real enemy of humanity is. All the conspiracies and warfare have contracted into medical defense. Now, the international community is joining hands to fight against pandemic and putting aside all grudges. We can hope that this outbreak will open our eyes and states will work more for humanity rather than power games.
China’s biggest tech giants like Alibaba and Baidu, Tencent, and Huawei sneaked into the health care evolution after the successful conquest of business horizons. All these giants promised to put all their efforts to cope with coronavirus pandemic. Being artificial intelligence companies, they utilized their skillset for combating the outbreak.
CT Image Analytics for COVID-19
Alibaba launched their online medical facility in January 2020, where patients can contact medical professionals online. This company deployed an online drug delivery system in February as well. The AI unit of Alibaba has claimed to launch an AI programthat can analyze Computerized Tomography (CT) scan reports within 3 to 4 seconds with 96% accuracy. This algorithm is capable of differentiating between coronavirus pneumonia, mild COVID-19 pneumonia, and non-COVID chest infections. It is a joint venture of Alibaba DAMO Academyand Intel Corp for the decentralization of AI.
Alibaba’s cloud program designed an algorithm for quick genome sequencing and analysis to fasten the genome research and COVID-19 vaccine development.
Baidu has launched the biggest online medical consultation free platform that has responded to 15 million queries and consists up of 100,000 doctors to respond.
Baidu’s new artificial intelligent algorithm called LinearFold is a Next-Generation Sequencing analyzer that compares and annotate the COVID-19 viral genome for quick research.
“The special situation of the epidemic has created a huge demand for online medical services and information. The public has been using the internet to gain information about the latest development of the epidemic and professional health-care services,” Yang Minglu, general manager of Baidu’s health-care business unit talked to CNBC.
U.S. Defense budget cut and Covid-19 funding
Pentagon has submitted the request for $705 billion in the defense head, which comprises 50% of the total federal government’s budget for the fiscal year 2021. But Federal Government officials have shown the fear that this demand would not be fulfilled due to serial budget deficits for the last five years and COVID-19 pandemic. Besides the budget constraints, soldiers may be prone to have coronavirus infection. Projections are indicating a 3% budget reduction, which is quite a big amount. This may lead to restricted purchasing of high-fi military equipment like F-35 fighter jets.
US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) is playing a major role in fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic. HHS is distributing $175 billion among hospitals and healthcare providers who are helping against coronavirus outbreak. Previously, the US government failed to have a consignment of ventilators from different medical equipment manufacturing companies up to now. But HHS has reached out to ventilator manufacturers to stock up thousands of ventilators for the US public.
Besides medical supplies, other life aspects need some attention. Policies are being made to keep the industry on and exposure to COVID-19 minimal. Here jumps in the Robotics. Before the coronavirus outbreak, there was a huge debate if automation is replacing humans with robots at workplaces, and humans will lose their jobs soon. But now it is a general public perception that this automation speed is not enough.
The recycling industry has greatly suffered because people think sorting garbage can make a worker highly susceptible to coronavirus transfer. AMP Robotics has provided a great solution for automated garbage sorting. The company has claimed that during the outbreak, demand for robots has tremendously increased.
Pakistan’s first oxygenator coming soon
Despite being far behind in the race of technology, Pakistan has started manufacturing oxygenators (a simpler form of ventilators). Out of 67, 13 designs have been approved by Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC). These approved designs meet European standards. Pakistan will not only be able to fulfill the local need but will be able to export these oxygenators to other countries.
Russia’s financial response against coronavirus
Russia is facing double threat i.e. oil price fall and coronavirus. Russia has 432k confirmed coronavirus cases with 196k recovered and 5215 deaths by now. Russia may lose $39 billion due to oil price cut, said Anton Siluanov, Russian finance minister. Russia has announced a $4 billion grant for the economic as well as health crisis during COVID-19. It is projected that Russia may have to release $120 billion to cope with budget deficits in the coming years.
Russia’s total defense budget is US$69.2 billion which 3.4% of global defense expenditure. Russia's health budget is 3.5% of its total GDP, compared to a 3.9% defense budget. Russia has manufactured 500 ventilators in April 2020 and planned to produce 6000 more ventilators in the coming 3 months. Interestingly, Russia has claimed to have an effective treatment against COVID-19. An anti-influenza drug, Avifavir, has been approved and will be delivered to hospitals to treat corona patients.
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