This Hong Kong WhatsApp chatbot allows you to check if anyone in your building has COVID-19

Screenshot shows WhatsApp conversation with Clare.AI chatbot
Screenshot shows WhatsApp conversation with Clare.AI chatbot

Want to know if there are confirmed COVID-19 cases where you live? There’s a WhatsApp chatbot for that.

Hong Kong-based tech start-up Clare AI has built a chatbot that allows users to check for virus cases in their building and the surrounding vicinity. To begin a conversation with the bot, simply scan the QR code on their website and type in “Hi Clare.”

Then, all you have to do is share your location with the chatbot, and it will return details of nearby COVID-19 cases—including their building name, case numbers, case type (local, close contact of local case or imported) and the date of their symptoms onset if the patient is symptomatic.

If you’d rather not turn on location services, you can also enter the name of your building. (In some instances, the bot will return you results with the exact address of the COVID-19 case, including their apartment unit number.)

The bot’s default language is Chinese, but you can also enter “6” to switch to English.

.Clare AI’s database is updated regularly with information from the Center of Health Protection.

Entering “1” will return the most recent daily figures showing the number of new cases, patients hospitalized, patients in critical condition, patients discharged and deaths.

Once a model for the rest of the world still struggling to contain their virus outbreaks, Hong Kong is now in the thick of a third wave much more severe than its first and second. The number of infections surged rapidly earlier this month and as of July 30, the city has recorded over 3,150 cases.

While the recent spate of COVID-19 infections was initially concentrated in Kowloon East, the epidemic now appears to be city-wide with cases recorded from Hong Kong island to the New Territories.

Authorities say they are unable to predict when the outbreak will reach its peak, and advise Hongkongers to stay home and minimize non-essential activities as much as possible.

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