Coronavirus: Thermal drones monitor body temperatures in Saudi Arabia’s Medina

Authorities in Saudi Arabia’s Medina have started using thermal drones to monitor people’s temperatures in open spaces and markets in line with precautionary measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The drones are equipped with thermal cameras operating on artificial intelligence, according to a report by the Saudi Press Agency. According to the al-Riyadh newspaper, the thermal cameras can monitor up to 24 people per second. If a person is recorded as having a high temperature, they will be denied entry to the open market and asked to check with medical professionals immediately.

Similar technology has also been implemented by the Qassim region's municipality in central Saudi Arabia.

The use of drones is part of the Kingdom's wide-reaching measures to try and slow the spread of coronavirus. Curfews have been imposed on major cities including Jeddah, Riyadh, Medina and Mecca, and crossing between the Kingdom's 13 provinces requires permission.

As of Monday, there were 1,453 cases of COVID-19 in the Kingdom. The death toll currently stands at eight. King Salman bin Abdulaziz has ordered for coronavirus treatment to be available to everyone in Saudi Arabia, including those who may have overstayed their visas.

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