How contactless biometrics could be used to help stop the spread of the deadly pathogen

With more than 75,000 confirmed cases and 2,100-plus deaths, the recently discovered coronavirus (Novel Coronavirus or COVID 19) has sent public health officials globally scrambling to find ways to contain what’s become a pandemic. While the virus is centered primarily in China, cases have been reported around the world.

Although influenza viruses have killed more people this fall/winter season, it’s the fatality rate of the coronavirus that so frightens people. About 10 to 20 people per 100,000 infections die from the flu –– the coronavirus kills with more than 20 times that frequency.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, coronavirus is typically spread by respiratory droplets from an infected person that land in the mouths or noses or inhaled into the lungs of people nearby. Epidemiologists can’t rule out the possibility that the disease can be spread by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it before touching their own mouth, nose or eyes.

That’s where those of us in the security industry can play a role. Think of the thousands of people who place their fingers or entire hands on biometric readers in order to authenticate their identities at immigration checkpoints. These devices that heighten security and add convenience to travelers may be helping to transmit the virus. (read more)