Mitie Security has proposed a suite of fever-screening solutions to help businesses mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
Mitie Security proposed helping businesses to mitigate the spread of coronavirus through a suite of fever-screening solutions. The solutions, developed by adapting existing thermal imaging technology, should quickly and easily identify individuals with a fever that may be symptomatic of Covid-19. This technology is able to detect human temperatures to within an accuracy of 0.3ºC, to raise the alarm for monitoring teams. These solutions have been designed to support the wide range of industries on the front line of the UK’s fight against coronavirus, as well as those looking to prepare for when the current restrictions are eased.
The technology has been developed in several formats, from handheld units to mounted cameras. Locating the thermal cameras at site entrances allows a large number of people to be checked at one time, in public areas or when a large number of employees are entering a building at the same time, during shift changes at manufacturing sites, or employees arriving for work at a large office block. The portable handheld solution, meanwhile, can be used to check individuals who may have an elevated body temperature.
Mitie’s specialist Fire and Security Systems Team has also developed a process guide to be used alongside the fever-screening solutions, including best practice guidelines and procedures to manage people with a high body temperature, depending on the scenario. Potential Covid-19 sufferers could be diverted to a safe area for further checks to be performed by an employee wearing appropriate PPE, before it is determined whether access to the site should be granted or denied.
Other FM companies moved to produce materials to help workers adapt to the new status quo. Thomson FM and Anabas launched coronavirus support services. Thomson has started on a building management strategy to ensure that all fabric, mechanical and electrical systems are reviewed and risk assessed in order to minimise the risks to clients’ buildings, assets and occupants. Their approach will target key areas of maintenance activity, depending on the building type, and will be tailored to the needs of each customer’s estate.
The support focuses on several key areas where they can provide support remotely, including:
- reducing the risk of Covid-19 transmission;
- new maintenance strategy;
- water management;
- passenger and goods lifts;
- fire risk
- protecting asset life cycles
Anabas has started an employee assistance programme (EAP) for its staff via webinar. The EAP provides a confidential 24/7, 365-day helpline and provides advice and support on legal, financial, medical and other personal issues for staff who may be struggling in times of such uncertainty.
Applications for the technology include:
- Healthcare: Identifying potential Covid-19 sufferers as they enter hospital to allow healthcare professionals to take precautions, such as limiting contact with other patients and ensuring all staff they encounter are wearing appropriate PPE.
- Public spaces: Scanning people’s body temperature on entry to public spaces, such as railway stations, airports and large venues. This will allow those who may be suffering from Covid-19 to be isolated, reducing the further spread of the virus in crowded places.
- Retail: Thermal imaging technology will support the safety of staff and customers in supermarkets or other shops in identifying people with fevers and diverting them away from the stores.
- Business headquarters: For businesses preparing for the return of large number of employees to their offices. Fever-screening will detect any employees or visitors who could be infected with Covid-19, preventing it from spreading within the office.
FM steps up: the emergency refits
One of the biggest projects in the UK during coronavirus times has been the conversion and refitting of massive sites into makeshift hospitals. Last month in mere days, the ExCeL London Centre was refitted to take hundreds of beds with oxygen and ventilators.
The new NHS Nightingale Hospital was initially planned to provide up to 500 beds equipped with ventilators and oxygen and the capacity would then continue to increase, potentially up to several thousand beds should they be required.
Engineers and military personnel set up the hospital, liaising with the NHS on logistics, infrastructure and project management.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said: “Military personnel have been involved in the planning stages and continue to support NHS England by providing infrastructure, logistics and project management advice.”
NHS England also announced that new NHS Nightingale field hospitals were to be created in Bristol and Harrogate to provide hundreds of extra beds if local services need them during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.
These are in addition to those under development in London, Manchester and Birmingham.
The new hospital in Manchester is being built at the city’s Manchester Central Complex while the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham will take care of patients as needed in the West Midlands and surrounding area – the region that has been second hardest-hit by the virus.
Each of these new services will initially have up to 500 beds, potentially offering as many as 3,000 more between them if cases escalate.
In Wales, VINCI Construction UK is part of a group that is creating temporary Rainbow Hospitals at Deeside Leisure Centre and Bangor University.
Kier is also converting Bay Studios in Swansea into a field hospital. The film studios and former factory will be transformed into a hospital setting that will provide 850 beds in total. Working with Swansea Council, Kier will build a new structure to house the new field hospital inside the existing 11,000 square-metre single-tier building. Kier will also improve existing infrastructure within the studios, including heating, electricity and water supplies, so that it will effectively support NHS teams when the space becomes operational.
In Scotland, Balfour Beatty has been appointed as a principal contractor to transform Glasgow’s Scottish Events Campus (SEC) into a new temporary NHS Scotland Hospital, NHS Louisa Jordan, on behalf of the Scottish Government.
How the crisis unfolded
The Covid-19 outbreak starts in Wuhan, China.
The first case of Covid-19 in the UK is confirmed.
11 March 2020
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announces a £12bn package of emergency support to help the UK cope with the expected onslaught from coronavirus. This includes a promise that the taxpayer will meet 80% of the wages of employees temporarily sent home from firms hit by the crisis. The World Health Organization declares a pandemic.
16 March 2020
Boris Johnson advises everyone in the UK against “non-essential” travel and contact with others and says people should avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and work from home if possible.
17 March 2020
Sunak announces the biggest package of emergency state aid for business since the 2008 financial crash, unveiling £330bn-worth of government-backed loans and more than £20bn in tax cuts and grants for companies threatened with collapse.
20 March 2020
Johnson orders the closure of pubs, cafés, restaurants and gyms.
23 March 2020
Johnson announces a nationwide lockdown, under which police will be granted powers within days to enforce the government’s social distancing measures.
25 March 2020
The Coronavirus Act 2020 is passed granting the government and other authorities “unprecedented” powers.
3 April 2020
Prince Charles opens the NHS Nightingale Hospital in London by video link. The temporary hospital was created by refitting the ExCeL conference centre in nine days and has 4,000 beds available for the public. It is the biggest hospital in the world.
13 April 2020
The 1,000-bed hospital set up at the Manchester Central Convention Complex opens.
16 April 2020
A Nightingale hospital opens in Birmingham at the NEC with 500 beds, expandable to 1,500.
22 April 2020
Captain Tom Moore opens a Nightingale hospital in Harrogate, Yorkshire.Makeshift hospitals in Wales, Scotland and other parts of England are due to open in the weeks after Facilitate goes to press.