In November 2018, purely out of my keen interest in Blockchain and a little influence from my daughter’s MUN (Model United Nations) preparation in WHO committee, I had written an article, ‘Unleashing Blockchain for cross-border surveillance & reporting of Communicable Diseases.’ It was pure research at that point and seemed like a perfect use case for Blockchain. Today this COVID-19 crisis suddenly makes me wonder, that if we had a blockchain based real time reporting of Communicable Diseases, maybe we could have avoided a pandemic?
Biggest challenges for Communicable Diseases
There are two major challenges with communicable diseases.
1) First in today’s globalized world, communicable diseases are extremely hard to contain. They spread like wildfire and moves across political and geographical boundaries at ease, infecting people across countries.
2) Secondly, there is a huge social stigma around Communicable Diseases even today. Man by nature is a social animal and the idea of being separated from fellow human beings is scary to all. So there is a tendency to hide. This tendency is further aggravated by the fact that most people do not respect privacy. Maintaining privacy in case of sharing information about communicable diseases is of utmost importance.
How did COVID 19 start, spread and then become a pandemic?
While there are various opinions about this matter and many conspiracy theories are floating around, lets for now just consider the proven cause. The disease started from the wet markets of Wuhan, China, where live and dead animals and birds are sold daily. The virus most likely has originated from Bats, but since bats are not sold in that market, the scientists think that the bat must have bitten a bird or animal that got sold in the Wuhan wet market.
This much we have seen many a times when any new disease hit us. But then what’s different with this? How has this virus brought the world to a standstill? We have…