Great Britain

Brit office workers could be checked by ‘fever cameras’ to stop Covid spread as UK returns to normal

BRIT office workers could be checked by fever cameras to stop the spread of Covid.

Workers have been told they should expect to continue to work from home until at least June under Boris Johnson's roadmap out of lockdown.

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Workplaces have already put measures in place over the past year to stop the spread of Covid if staff cannot work from home, including putting social distancing measures in place, increasing cleaning and reducing face-to-face contact.

And new technology could see workers screened for a temperature as they begin to head back into their office buildings in the coming months.

A fever is one of the symptoms of Covid, with the deadly bug having claimed more than 121,000 lives in the UK already.

Temperature cameras could now be used in offices, along with nursing homes, community centres and even train stations.

ViraHawk cameras from Sentispec are able to screen ten people per second - able to determine if a person has a temperature over 37.5C.

A spokesperson for the company said: "Developed to prevent the spread of a range of infections, including COVID-19, the camera will automatically detect and alert relevant staff to potential infection carriers entering their facilities if their temperature reads too high.

"The technology has been used since the SARS epidemic in 2003, where various Asian nations have deployed temperature screening solutions in airports, retail outlets, malls, train stations, and more."

What are the main symptoms of Covid-19?

The COVID Symptom Study App, developed by health science company ZOE and analysed by academics at King's College London, helps to give clues on the symptoms of those with a positive Covid-19 test result.

The top five symptoms in school aged children are:

  1. Fatigue (55 per cent)
  2. Headache (53 per cent)
  3. Fever (49 per cent)
  4. Sore throat (38 per cent)
  5. Loss of appetite (35 per cent)

The top five symptoms in adultsare:

  1. Fatigue (87 per cent)
  2. Headache (72 per cent)
  3. Loss of smell (60 per cent)
  4. Persistent cough (54 per cent)
  5. Sore throat (49 per cent)

The most commonly experienced early symptoms are headache (82 per cent) and fatigue (72 per cent) - and this is the case for all age groups.

But only 1 per cent of people who reported fatigue and/or headache on the app ended up testing positive for Covid.

Therefore, the researchers say the two together alone may not mean Covid-19.

They said the three symptoms of a fever, persistent cough and loss of smell and taste and still the most important trio to watch out for.

Research from the app has also found that one in six (15 per cent) children who test positive for Covid also present with an unusual skin rash.  

Those over 65 reported being confused, disorientated and having severe shortness of breath more often than the other groups.

A third of app users experiencing delirium did not report suffering the ‘classic’ Covid-19 symptoms of cough and fever, while delirium was the only symptom for around one in five of hospitalised patients.

 The PM this week confirmed he will ease the nation back to normality in four stages, with each step assessed every five weeks.

Children will go back to schools in the first stage beginning March 8, while the fourth and final stage will take force no earlier than June 21.

The Government has said it will assess its work from home rules ahead of this fourth and final stage.

Mr Johnson said: “Our journey back towards normality will be subject to resolving a number of key questions. And to do this we will conduct four reviews." 

He added: “One will assess how long we need to maintain social distancing and face masks.

"This will also inform guidance on working from home which will continue wherever possible until this review is complete.”

Publishing its blueprint, the Government admitted social distancing is "difficult and damaging for businesses" and, as a result, it is important to "return to as near to normal as quickly as possible". 

Its official roadmap document states that ahead of Step 4, the Government will "complete a review of social distancing measures and other long-term measures that have been put in place to limit transmission". 

The results of the review will "help inform decisions on the timing and circumstances under which rules on 1 metre, face masks and other measures may be lifted," it adds.

“The review will also inform guidance on working from home - people should continue to work from home where they can until this review is complete.”

The “work from home” message was brought in at the start of the first lockdown last March.

That changed though during the summer as Covid cases eased and employees were urged to return to their offices in a bid to get Britain working again, despite objections from Labour MPs and trade unions.

When Boris announced the third national lockdown at the start of this year, he said people should go to work only if they “absolutely” could not work from home.

Rules now state you may only leave home for work if you cannot reasonably work from home.

Brits told to work from home if they can until at least June as lockdown roadmap unveiled

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