Coronavirus: China uses facial recognition and infrared scanners

China’s mass surveillance system is being used to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Zhengzhou is the first city in China to have set up facial recognition gates at all of its underground stations.

Now, these cameras are being used alongside infrared temperature scanners to help contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

The hi-tech cameras allow authorities to track and access a citizen’s travel history. There are now an estimated 350 million surveillance cameras in China.

“For now, most commuters in Zhengzhou are using payment cards or mobile phone apps on public transport,” Al Jazeera’s Katrina Yu reporting from Zhengzhou says. “But analysts say it won’t be long before their faces are the only ticket they need.”

The cameras are part of the government’s plan to boost security and surveillance, but human rights groups say that the vast digital surveillance network is being used to monitor and imprison Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang and will give police the power to create a digital authoritarian state.