Technology aids the war on coronavirus

The cameras have automatic facial recognition and visitor management systems.

Photo credit: File

What you need to know:

  • The cameras have automatic facial recognition and visitor management systems.
  • The cameras are preferred by many firms as they are not invasive.
  • Should a visitors’ temperature be “above normal”, the camera alerts the control room.

As the country prepares for a possible return to normalcy following a reduction in new coronavirus cases, private firms and State agencies are adopting technology to stop the pandemic.

Cameras that can detect faces and fever have become a favourite tool with schools, hospitals and government and private entities.

The Nation has learnt that several ministries, multinationals and a private hospital in the city have installed thermal imaging cameras at their entrances. They have been relying on these cameras to get temperature readings of staff and visitors. 

The cameras have automatic facial recognition and visitor management systems.

“The systems are important because of the need for contact tracing in the event a person in the building shows Covid-19 symptoms or tests positive. Everyone the individual has been in contact with gets traced easily for isolation purposes,” Opticom Kenya Ltd co-founder Tim Chege said.

The company is installing thermal cameras to clients. The cameras are preferred by many firms as they are not invasive.

Profits from virus

They read a person’s temperature without the knowledge of the individual, unlike the thermal gun that must be pointed to skin at close range.

Should a visitors’ temperature be “above normal”, the camera alerts the control room.

The individual is then advised to visit a hospital.

Most guards manning buildings with thermal guns lock out people with temperature above 38 degrees Celsius.

Mr Chege says the standard temperature is specific to every country, with 38.5 degrees considered high in the United Kingdom, for instance.

Security firms in the UK, the United States and China have been scrambling to profit from coronavirus as they sell gadgets to schools ahead of reopening, private companies and government installations.

The demand for the cameras is growing in the country, with Opticom Kenya Ltd saying many companies are investing in them.

“The idea is more on prevention. We do not have access to the data recorded by our clients’ cameras but the ones in the UK are connected to our command centre,” Mr Chege said.

“The cameras are specific on the data they capture. They do not record the biometrics of a person even if they capture the face and temperature. Opticom operates under the EU’s data protection regulations.”


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