Coronavirus: Why temperature checks are still happening despite limited effectiveness?

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Thermal scanning (Image:
Thermal scanning (Image:

New Delhi : It is very likely even today that you may be asked for thermal scanning or temperature check when you would be in a market, shop, hospital or in a shopping mall. But, the major question is on the effectiveness of such a test when it comes to prevention against the spread of coronavirus.

Temperature checks are done to identify whether a person is having fever or not but, they can be least effective as the studies have found that a person could be infected with coronavirus without fever.

That’s why some experts are questioning relying on temperature scans. “It’s something you can do, and it makes you feel like you’re doing something,” Dr. David Thomas, an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told the New York Times. “But it won’t catch most people who are spreading COVID.”

Recently, the US' CDC updated their guidelines and took note on relying on the symptom-based screening especially during the air travel.

In a statement issued on Sept. 9, the CDC said: "We now have a better understanding of COVID-19 transmission that indicates symptom-based screening has limited effectiveness because people with COVID-19 may have no symptoms or fever at the time of screening, or only mild symptoms. Transmission of the virus may occur from passengers who have no symptoms or who have not yet developed symptoms of infection."

Meanwhile, there are experts which claim that even though it is a less effective way to trace the infected person but still there are little chances which is better than having no scans.

"Businesses want customers to come back to their establishments [and] customers want safety,” Ernst told Yahoo Life. “While it is clear that temperature checks have limitations, customers are looking for businesses that take their safety personally. Temperature checks say, ‘I care about your safety as a customer.’"

What are the preventions against coronavirus?

With limited information on the transmission of coronavirus, it is important for people to maintain the social distancing, wear mask in public places and maintain hand hygiene.