Review need for temperature checks at airport

I returned to Singapore from a work-related trip to the Middle East and Europe two weeks ago.

In the few countries that I had visited, I noticed that the temperature-checking routine on arriving passengers is no longer carried out.

In contrast, this practice is still ongoing at Changi Airport.

As there have been no serious global health threats recently, such as a flu pandemic, the authorities may want to consider standing down on the current health-control measures being taken at the airport.

Arriving passengers on my flight were visibly surprised when they saw staff on temperature-checking duty immediately after they alighted from the plane.

They would not have felt so if there was an ongoing global health scare, as people would then be psychologically prepared to see such measures being taken in airports.

The authorities may want to look at the data over the past six months to find out if there was a significant number of passengers who had high temperatures on arrival and were eventually diagnosed with serious illnesses of public concern.

Otherwise, time, manpower and resources would just be going into spottingpeople displaying symptoms of the common cold.

The staff presently on temperature-checking duties could be redeployed to other critical areas to better serve the demands of the medical profession.

N. Subhas

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 21, 2018, with the headline 'Review need for temperature checks at airport'. Print Edition | Subscribe