Huawei donates high-tech solutions to boost S.Africa's COVID-19 fight

The logo of Huawei is seen in this file photo. (Photo: Agencies)

JOHANNESBURG - Leading ICT solutions provider Huawei donated four Huawei Cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI) diagnostic systems and four thermal scanning systems to help South Africa's fight against COVID-19.

South African Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said AI was an important diagnostic method that would boost his team's efforts to successfully diagnose and treat infected patients.

"Using Information and communications technology (ICT) is another important weapon in our arsenal to fight against this virus," he said when receiving the donation at Huawei's Johannesburg headquarters on Tuesday.

"We are grateful to Huawei for sharing this innovative system. We look forward to exploring the capabilities of these solutions as we are constantly looking to capacitate our facilities with technology that improves efficiency and accuracy in our health care delivery," said the minister.

The AI Cloud solution which leverages the Huawei Cloud that was built in South Africa allows for fast, highly accurate diagnosis of coronavirus pneumonia by analyzing CT scans of a patients' lungs.

This system has been implemented successfully in countries like UK, Mexico, Thailand and China.

Huawei also donated four thermal scanning systems that can be used in high-density pedestrian areas to conduct body temperature monitoring, which is a critical early detection method.

"Early detection helps to reduce the spread of the virus and to flatten the curve. Speeding up diagnosis time from hours to minutes with a 98 percent accuracy rate, is a powerful tool for treating, monitoring and management of the disease," said Huawei South Africa CEO Spawn Fan.

"The crisis of COVID-19 presents a huge challenge to all humankind in a globalized world, the pandemic we face today can no longer be resolved by any individual country. Rather, we need to combat the virus by working hand in hand. At this moment, we can't beat this virus unless we eliminate boundaries to resources and share our know-how and hard-learned lessons," concluded Fan.

South Africa's Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor on Tuesday thanked Huawei, along with other Chinese companies and the Chinese government, for their donations and contribution to South Africa to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.