Bus driv­ers get cam­era tem­per­a­ture checks

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Technology Intelligen­ce - By

Matthew Field

BUS driv­ers in Lon­don are be­ing scanned with ther­mal imag­ing cam­eras to de­tect signs of fever, a key symp­tom of coro­n­avirus.

Trans­port for Lon­don is test­ing the use of tem­per­a­ture cam­eras with train and bus op­er­a­tors Abel­lio, Metro­line, Ar­riva, Stage­coach and Go Ahead.

The cam­eras use in­frared tech­nol­ogy to pick up small changes in body tem­per­a­ture from a dis­tance.

While not a sub­sti­tute for a test, they have been used as a first-line check to see if some­one has an un­usu­ally high tem­per­a­ture, and should then be rec­om­mended for a coro­n­avirus test.

How­ever, in­frared screen­ing alone is viewed as in­ad­e­quate by ex­perts at the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion. Some peo­ple suf­fer­ing from coro­n­avirus do not dis­play fever symp­toms. Oth­ers dis­play no symp­toms at all.

Ther­mal cam­eras have still been in­stalled in Heathrow Air­port to au­to­mat­i­cally scan ar­rivals to de­tect if they have a raised tem­per­a­ture. They have also be­come com­mon over­seas, and are used at air­ports in Asia.

Metro­line, an op­er­a­tor of Lon­don red buses, has be­gun us­ing ther­mal cam­eras to scan driv­ers be­fore work from Temp Cam, which claims to give ac­cu­rate skin tem­per­a­ture read­ings to within 0.3C, scan­ning 20-30 peo­ple at a time. The cam­eras are de­signed to de­tect fever on driv­ers re­turn­ing to work, who are checked at their de­pot and logged. Metro­line did not com­ment.

Bus driv­ers have been among the most at-risk em­ploy­ees of coro­n­avirus, with 26.4 deaths per 100,000.

The Gov­ern­ment has brought in more rules for pub­lic trans­port pas­sen­gers. Face masks have been com­pul­sory on buses and trains since mid June. Com­muters who ig­nore the rules risk a fine of £100 or be­ing re­fused board­ing.

Claire Mann, TfL’s direc­tor of bus oper­a­tions, said: “We are tri­alling a range of tem­per­a­ture test­ing equip­ment for driv­ers and staff at a num­ber of our bus garages to see if they can play a role in our com­mit­ment to pro­tect staff and cus­tomers. We’re work­ing with the Trans­port Re­search Lab­o­ra­tory, Unite the Union, and sev­eral bus op­er­a­tors on these tri­als.”

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