Covid-19 Breakthrough: Artificial Intelligence to Limit the Importation of Asymptomatic International Passengers


A novel approach to Covid-19 testing using artificial intelligence has given a new hope amidst the coronavirus negativity. Eva, a breakthrough technology that uses artificial intelligence, was used by Greece at its border to detect and limit the entry of asymptomatic COVID-19 international passengers between August and November last year.

Tourism is an important part of Greece’s economy; therefore, it needed to reopen its borders for tourists during the prime summer vacation season. As testing every incoming traveler was difficult, Eva was used at the borders to determine which passengers to test on arrival at the border. Using the testing results collected at the border, Eva successfully helped contain the country’s number of cases and deaths.

The traditional testing approaches require almost twice as many tests as Eva to catch the same number of infected travelers. With the help of artificial intelligence, the same number of cases could be tested using just 8,000 tests.

Not just this, Eva could identify 1.85 times more asymptomatic, infected travelers than the conventional system. During the peak travel season, four to five times more cases of infection were detected.

One of the biggest challenges governments face when dealing with COVID-19 is controlling the spread and import of the disease at the borders. But due to overburdened testing infrastructure, most countries either screen arriving passengers from specific countries or conduct random testing. With the help of Eva, passengers could be tested successfully without burdening the testing infrastructure.

With the help of artificial intelligence, it is also possible to identify when a country is experiencing a spike in COVID-19 infections much earlier than they show up in official case counts. Greece used this data to prevent the flow of infected travelers from the countries where coronavirus prevalence was high.

Because Eva enabled the country to test passengers even before they developed symptoms, Greece was also able to acquire better data to update its travel policies frequently.

As people travel amidst coronavirus surge, potentially carrying Covid-19 infection with them, covid-19 detection technology using AI can prove to be a game-changer in defeating the malicious virus.

Today, the covid-19 vaccination drive is going on in full swing, but there’s a long road ahead until everyone is immunized and herd immunity is achieved. Therefore, more countries should consider using data and artificial intelligence to maximize their testing resources’ efficiency and reduce the spread of the virus.