Malaysia's railway company KTMB tests smart helmet to detect passengers with Covid-19 symptoms

Auxiliary police officers wearing a "smart helmet" patrol inside a commuter train in Kuala Lumpur on Oct 14, 2020.
Auxiliary police officers wearing a "smart helmet" patrol inside a commuter train in Kuala Lumpur on Oct 14, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's largest railway company Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) has started to equip its auxiliary police force with temperature scanning helmets in its fight against the spread of Covid-19.

The company said the helmets will assist its officers, who usually patrol its stations and trains, to detect passengers with probable Covid-19 symptoms such as high body temperature.

The "smart helmet" is able to detect a person's body temperature from up to 3m away with 99.9 per cent accuracy, claimed KTMB strategic communications head Ahmad Asri Khalbi.

If a person has a higher than normal body temperature, a potential sign of Covid-19 infection, the helmet will alert its user.

The helmets, which can last up to seven hours on a rechargeable battery, are on loan from a local company, said Mr Ahmad Asri.

Currently, they are being tested only at the KL Sentral station and on the Komuter and ETS trains.

In a Facebook post, the company said the helmets are meant to complement the current measures put in place, including having sanitisers all over its premises and static thermal machines which scans commuters before they enter its stations around the country.

"Hopefully the methods implemented will increase the confidence of passengers to use KTMB services," it said in the post.

The Malaysian government reimposed tighter movement curbs on 7.6 million people in Kuala Lumpur and the neighbouring state of Selangor for the next two weeks due to a surge of coronavirus cases.

The country reported 589 new Covid-19 infections on Thursday (Oct 15), bringing the national total to 18,129.

Health Ministry director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah also said there were three deaths, bringing the death toll to 170.