Forum: Fingerprint scanners pose health risk during current crisis

It is impossible for ICA to sanitise the scanners each time a person passes through.
It is impossible for ICA to sanitise the scanners each time a person passes through.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

My family arrived in Changi Airport Terminal 3 last Thursday, and noted that hand sanitisers were not provided for travellerers at the arrival and departure automated clearance lanes.

We also wondered how frequently the fingerprint scanners at the airport are sanitised, as they could be a conduit for transmitting viruses from an infected person to others.

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) may want to consider non-contact screening, such as facial recognition as implemented by Japan.

During this coronavirus crisis, sanitisation should become part of our standard procedures, to ensure that places with high human traffic are cleaned and sanitised regularly.

It is impossible for ICA to sanitise the scanners each time a person passes through.

In view of the increasing number of infected persons, ICA should immediately assess the current immigration control gates to ensure that all machines are sanitised regularly at least or consider doing away with auto-scanning.

The officers manning the counters should at least wear gloves and masks. And this should also apply to Singapore's other immigration checkpoints.

Irene Low

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 05, 2020, with the headline 'Fingerprint scanners pose health risk during current crisis'. Print Edition | Subscribe