• Jiji


The government aims to put a facial recognition system into practical use to prevent new coronavirus infections at large-scale events including the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, it was learned Friday.

The government also hopes to improve the national capacity to conduct saliva-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests to simultaneously detect cases of influenza and novel coronavirus infection, informed sources said.

The proposals are included in a draft program for developing new technologies for preventing coronavirus infection.

The government will unveil the program shortly and carry out demonstration tests at relevant ministries and agencies.

According to the draft, the government is looking at using security cameras equipped with a facial recognition system to record the movements of visitors to the Tokyo Games, which were postponed to 2021, and other large-scale events, the sources said.

The visitor records are expected to be used to identify people who had close contact with virus carriers.

The government is also considering a plan to consolidate virus test results for Olympic and Paralympic athletes and manage their visits to event facilities using facial recognition technology.

As for seasonal influenza and coronavirus infection tests, the government aims to create a simple system.

Specifically, the government hopes to construct a system in which people can undertake PCR tests by sending saliva samples to test facilities via drugstores, for instance, the sources said.

The draft program also includes plans to disinfect facilities using robots on autopilot and utilize artificial intelligence to avoid congestion at evacuation centers in the event of natural disasters.

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