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Coronavirus Pandemic: What is Infrared Thermometer and Why is It Needed?

File photo of an infrared thermometer. (Reuters)

File photo of an infrared thermometer. (Reuters)

The infrared thermometers are used to detect the body temperature in case of fever, one of the symptoms of coronavirus. These thermometers check the human temperature by sensing the infrared energy radiated by the body.

The sudden surge in numbers of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases has caused the nations across the globe to take steps to stop the spread. Ever since the outbreak of the deadly disease, there has been a need to routinely check temperatures. The temperature in such cases is not checked using a mercury thermometer. To do this, offices, airports, malls and hotels are using forehead thermometers, also known as an infrared thermometer.

These thermometers check the human temperature by sensing the infrared energy radiated by the body.

The infrared thermometers are used to detect the body temperature in case of fever, one of the symptoms of coronavirus.

However, this is not a 100% accurate way of detecting COVID-19 cases. While the advantage of using an infrared thermometer is its ‘no contact’ process, the temperature can get affected by various factors such as wind and water.

It can take from 2 to 10 days for a person to show the symptoms of coronavirus. If a person is affected by the virus and has not started to show symptoms yet, the infrared thermometer would not be able to detect. So, infrared thermometers might not provide an accurate estimation of the infected people.

Despite this, several cities and countries are heavily dependent on infrared thermometers and are experiencing a spurt in demand. They are finding it difficult to procure these instruments.