At the Blaise Diagne airport in Dakar Senegal, medical processes are in place to control passengers coming in and going out of the West African nation.
A move occasioned by growing concerns over the spread of the deadly coronavirus to Africa. Airports across the continent are screening passengers especially those coming from the region of origin.
Xavier Mari, Managing Director of LAS – the company that manages the airport told the media: “As the airport authority, we have worked with the Ministry of Health and social affairs to set up a system to detect passengers with fever and who are potential carriers of the virus.
“Thanks to what has been put in place, all incoming passengers are screened, and observed to see if they are carrying a virus, and if they have a temperature.”
One will imagine the cameras are for security but these are thermal image capturing devices to identify passengers with abnormally high temperatures.
Dr Barnabé Gning, Chief Medical Officer for Health Inspection at the Air Border at the airport also said: “The first sign of these communicable diseases is fever, the technology has been adapted to detect people with a temperature of 38 degrees or higher.
“This explains the implementation of these thermal cameras in the context of coronavirus in particular, but in reality these thermal cameras can be used for any other type of infectious disease.”
The outbreak of the virus in China has been spotted in other parts of the world. Africa is expecting thousands of Chinese to the continent as many are reported to have travelled back home for the annual Chinese New year festival this January.