Steve Lane, Lantec Security Ltd.
Businesses including mine, and businesses around the world are currently facing an unprecedented disruption due to the spread of COVID-19. Not only has this tragedy taken countless lives, it has also put a massive strain on our NHS, other related health services and has shocked us all.
Our normal, daily routines, such as going to the shop, seeing our friends and spending time with our loved ones have all been shattered as we try our best to keep safe and healthy. I looked at the BBC website today, there are nearly 100,000 confirmed cases in the UK with a total of 12,868 deaths, which put a knot in my stomach. The numbers are absolutely terrifying and we all have to do our part; listen to the guidelines of the government and stay indoors, to stop the spread of this tragedy.
Not everyone can stay at home though, there are countless businesses that still have to operate on a daily basis. We are reliant on those, such as our healthcare services, emergency services, shops, food producers, warehouses, airports and other key working sectors. The employees of these businesses are at a higher risk because of their movements, as well as their customers. There are preventable measures and actions these businesses can actually take though, to help to stop the spread of the virus.
One of these preventable measures is fever-screening thermal cameras that can detect high fevers in a business’ employees or customers. We’ve got a range of thermal cameras that are suitable for small and large businesses looking for that added layer of security to prevent further spread of the virus. Looking at the BBC, they state that one of the most prominent coronavirus symptoms is a temperature above 37.8C. These cameras scan people as they enter through the doorways or hallways and sends alerts when they detect a fever over a certain threshold. This method means that companies have the ability to isolate a person exhibiting these symptoms, therefore preventing further spread of the virus.
There are a few types of these thermal cameras that can be used. The first are stationary or turret type cameras, that can be placed in doorways, hallways and be used to scan people from nine metres away. Another variety are the handheld cameras, which are completely portable, that can be used anywhere as long as they are connected to a mobile app. All of these types of cameras detect a person’s temperature in as little as one second, and are also non-contact therefore increasing safety for the users of these cameras.
This solution is not just for us in the UK though, as big and small companies around the world are also using these preventive safety measures. Reuters stated that Tyson Foods and Intel are using them in all their factories, to ensure safety and to detect issues. Tyson Foods were able to shut down one of their factories following the discovery that 24 of their employees at the facility had COVID-19, which stopped the further spread of the virus. Companies such as Amazon are also using handheld solutions to read the temperatures of their employees, although Reuters have also stated it limits how fast employees can enter the building as they are being scanned one by one.
Countries such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have taken stricter measures on curbing the spread of the virus, with shops, malls and other services, such as healthcare, all having thermal screening installed. Customers of shops in the UAE have to wait to be screened before they can enter and, if detected with a fever, can be escorted to a clinic for further testing. As of today, the number of coronavirus cases in the UAE was 5,365, with 33 deaths, which is different story to us in the UK.
Other organisations that are promoting the effectiveness and preventable powers of thermal-screening are The World Health Organisation (WHO). They claim that exported cases of coronavirus were “detected through entry screening” at airports, and added that the spread of the disease could be reduced if temperature screening was used.
I’m asking all businesses that are still running, and have to operate under these circumstances, to take action. These preventable solutions will help keep you, your employees and your customers safe. One of my, and Lantec Security’s, goals is to get people back to work safely and to ensure that businesses are prepared for when people are able to start moving normally again. We are prioritising hospitals and healthcare facilities as they need the thermal cameras the most, but all other businesses that involve people should also be enquiring so we can stop the further spread of this disease.