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Government announces thermal cameras are unsuitable for coronavirus screening

Image showing a thermal imaging camera used for temperature detectionIn a blog post in April we raised a concern about the risks of the emerging perception that thermal cameras are a necessary, effective method for coronavirus screening, whilst when used as the main tool, they are not. We were and are concerned that a false sense of security may be created in the places where this type of equipment is being deployed.

We are pleased to see the recent intervention from the Government’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), expressly stating that thermal cameras are unsuitable for coronavirus screening.

Mr Greame Tunbridge, MHRA Director of Devices, says in the press statement that “Many thermal cameras and temperature screening products were originally designed for non-medical purposes, such as for building or site security. Businesses and organisations need to know that using these products for temperature screening could put people’s health at risk.”

The MHRA recommends that businesses and workplaces follow the government advice on safe working during COVID-19, as well as implementing scientifically reliable methods of testing for COVID-19.

Our hope is that this message from the Government’s health experts will reach businesses to warn them that purchasing (costly) thermal camera equipment is both unnecessary and potentially may put people’s health at risk.

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All enquiries for thermal cameras we have had since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown have been responded to with a message of caution stating the equipment’s unsuitability for coronavirus screening. We’ll now warn any further enquirers by highlighting the above MHRA press statement.

Published on July 9th, 2020 by Frank Crouwel

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