COVID-19 Situation in Southeast Asia and the Startups that are Shining in Times of Crisis

So How Are Things in Southeast Asia?

According to the Ministry of Health, Singapore - There have been a total of 558 confirmed cases as of March 24th, 362 of the total cases are imported, a total of 155 patients have been discharged and there have been 2 deaths to date. 

The current ‘Disease Outbreak Response System Condition’ (DORSCON) alert level in Singapore is currently at Orange, which is the second highest level. The government has implemented new border restrictions from March 23rd that restricts all short-term visitors from entering or transiting through Singapore. All events with 250 or more participants have been suspended until June 30th. Gatherings outside school and work will be limited to a maximum of 10 people while a 1-meter safe distancing policy has been adopted at all public venues to reduce the risk of further local transmission of the virus. 

Countries in the region are reacting to the coronavirus in different ways based on the severity of the situation in their respective countries. In Indonesia, with over 600 confirmed cases and 50 deaths, the government has invoked emergency measures in the capital, Jakarta with cinemas and other public entertainment shut down for two weeks in addition to recommendations for employers to adopt work from home policies. Metro Manila, a region of 12 million people entered a month-long lockdown from March 22nd as the government of the Philippines considering other emergency actions. Over 500 confirmed cases and 20 deaths have been reported in the country. 

Malaysia, which shares two land crossings with Singapore as well as borders with Thailand and Indonesia declared a Movement Control Order and closed its borders. Malaysians may only leave their homes to buy groceries, for emergencies or to access health care. Social visits are banned. With over 1,600 confirmed cases and at least 15 reported deaths, Malaysia now has the most cases of COVID-19 in the region.

In Thailand, with confirmed cases approaching 1,000 and 4 reported deaths, malls, schools, bars and cinemas have been shut with more drastic measures set to be announced in the coming days. Across the region, instances of panic buying of household essentials have been reported while tourism, an important component of many ASEAN economies have been severely impacted. 

This article will introduce a set of startups and their services that are being impactful and resourceful especially in times of crisis. 

Trace Together (Singapore)

Trace Together is an app developed by the Singapore government. The app identifies other nearby phones with the app installed when you are in close proximity with the other person, including timestamps. If the need arises, the information can be used to identify close contacts based on the proximity and the duration of an encounter between the two users. 

Once an individual is confirmed with the virus, he can choose to allow the Ministry of Health access to the data in the app to help identify close contacts. The app will be able to identify people who have been within 2m of coronavirus patients for at least 30 minutes, using wireless Bluetooth technology. 

Kronikare (Singapore) 

KroniKare is an AI-based system that helps with early detection of complications such as infection, undermining and blood circulation problems.  

Kronikare rolled out a new product called iThermo. iThermo is a temperature screening device that is commercially available as a pilot device for S$1,000 per month and has been certified as a Class A medical device by the Health Sciences Authority. iThermo is undergoing pilot trials at IHiS’ office and St. Andrew’s Community Hospital. The body of the device is the same as the wound scanner. It uses an Android smartphone fitted with two additional cameras, mounted on a stand. 

SmartFuture (Singapore)