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Flights after quarantine: many people who do not have COVID-19 will not be allowed on the plane

Air travel is now taking place amid stringent measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Thermal screening is one of the conditions, but aviation experts warn that the temperature check could lead to denial of flight for passengers who are not sick with COVID-19, writes Express.

Photo: Shutterstock

Caircraft, a global health and medical resilience company, says that without a real test, it will not be possible to distinguish between actual carriers of the coronavirus and anyone with a fever for very different reasons. For example, women with hormonal “hot flashes”, people with certain forms of arthritis, or even those taking certain types of medications may have a fever in the absence of coronavirus.

Caircraft claims that one of the key issues associated with thermal screening as an effective method of screening passengers at the airport is the efficiency and reliability of the mass screening test itself.

“Ideally, this requires each subject to stop and the sensors are physically focused on the target test area (ie, the forehead),” Caircraft said. "Trying to get accurate temperature readings from moving passengers and multiple passengers at the same time can almost certainly lead to misreading the data and missing infected passengers."

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An correspondent spoke with Dr. Jonathan Sackier, Senior Physician and Member of the Caircraft Advisory Board, to learn more.

“Using heat screening to detect COVID-19 infection is of little medical importance or value,” Saquier said. - It is like sifting stones to find gold, and about as reliable - some stones containing gold will be sieved; not all stones left after sifting will contain gold. "

He continued: “If this is worth using, then as a first step in the testing process, after those people who have been filtered on the screen will be tested specifically for coronavirus. Even better, if airports could carry out fast PCR testing for each outgoing passenger, which provides almost 100 percent accuracy of infection detection and eliminates the need to check arriving passengers and / or quarantine on the “other side”. ”

The second problem, according to Caircraft, is that because heat shielding identifies general elevated temperatures, the shield is likely to "grip" passengers with temperatures unrelated to coronavirus infection. For example, a menopausal woman with “hot flashes” or a child with a teething fever may not be screened despite not being infected with the coronavirus.

Other “non-infectious” causes of fever include certain autoimmune and inflammatory (rheumatic) disorders, certain types of cancer, side effects of certain medications, and “stressful environmental factors,” such as stress caused by fear of flying.

Problems can arise when these passengers are not allowed to fly, despite the fact that they do not have a coronavirus, which will violate not only their own travel plans, but also the plans of the people with whom they fly.

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Unfortunately, it is unclear what passengers could do in such a situation, since many airlines and airport administrations have stated that anyone who does not pass thermal screening will not be allowed to fly.

A possible option may be a specific form of travel cancellation insurance, taking into account possible insured events, one way or another related to the coronavirus.

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