British PM Boris Johnson to meet with major tech companies to discuss ways to control coronavirus outbreak

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has summoned the senior executives of major tech companies to a private meeting in Downing Street at 7pm Wednesday night to “request you and your company’s assistance in our country’s response” to the COVID-19 coronavirus. The meeting is meant to discuss ways of improving communication with the public over a coronavirus outbreak and to help model and track its spread, Johnson’s spokesman said.

Alex Wickham for Buzzfeed News:

Boris Johnson coronavirus. Image: 10 Downing Street
10 Downing Street
Representatives from all the major social media companies will attend the “Tech CEO Round Table”, BuzzFeed News understands. They will be asked to commit “data, assets and expertise” to the UK’s fight against the outbreak… A source said Downing Street would ask tech companies to ensure the public receives the best coronavirus advice at the top of searches, and to help combat disinformation.

The objectives of the meeting are to produce an action plan with tech companies that will “help inform the public and decision makers”, “model the spread of the disease and impact of interventions”, “track the spread and allow members of the public to avoid exposure”, “help allocate staff, resources and devices across the medical system” and “help communities help themselves”.

Tech firms will be asked for their help with “back end data”, “modelling and analytics”, “dashboards / visualisations” and “reaching vulnerable and isolated groups”.

MacDailyNews Note: More info on the Prevention & Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) via the U.S. CDC is here. Track the Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) here.

See also: Trump administration to meet with Apple, others to discuss ways to control coronavirus outbreak.

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