Bahamas Using Facial Recognition to Detect COVID-19

To help protect against the deadly coronavirus, the Bahamas is turning to facial recognition. The Caribbean nation’s Ministry of Financial Services, Trade & Immigration has partnered with local company SunRyse Communications to introduce facial recognition thermometer camera technology in many places around the islands. The cameras will be able to detect symptoms of COVID-19 along with seasonal viruses such as cold and flu.

When a person enters, the camera will take a temperature before further access is allowed. The AI system can detect forehead and body temperatures, and has the ability to identify a person even if they are wearing a mask. One of the main indications of possibly having coronavirus is a fever or elevated body temperature.

“The system also gives the ability to have the person who is entering the building have a photo of them taken for record-keeping purposes as well as for any contact tracing that needs to be done later on in the future,” said Ronnie Ferguson, of SunRise Communications.

Facial Recognition Thermometer Cameras Deployed to Gov’t Buildings

Some of the places where the facial recognition thermometer camera technology will be implemented are Mount Royal House, Monarch House, Prince George Dock office, Carmichael Road Detention Centre, and the LPIA office. According to officials, the tech can be effective in government buildings, airports, businesses, communities, schools, buses, and other crowded public places. The devices cost around $1,500 each.

“So, with the government’s decision that we will reopen shortly and the fact that we cannot, as an essential service, shut our doors, we have had to take the necessary measures to make sure that any and everyone who comes into our presence, obviously, is sterile in the interest of all concerns,“ said Director of Immigration Clarence Russell.

The Bahamas has begun reopening to some tourists if they are able to test negative for the coronavirus. The country has had 104 confirmed cases of the virus with 11 deaths.

Check out our articles on robots checking for coronavirus in Japan and a VR simulation of what COVID-19 does to the body.