Taiwan Railways starts temperature checks in April

Taiwan lawmakers worried about virus transmission risks during Tomb Sweeping holidays

TRA to implement temperature screenings for all passengers by end of April. 

TRA to implement temperature screenings for all passengers by end of April.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — With the four-day Tomb Sweeping holiday approaching, Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said Thursday (March 26) it will start temperature checks for passengers at all 34 of its major stations in April.

TRA Deputy Director-General Du Wei (杜微) told media the company has purchased 32 infrared cameras to detect the body temperatures of passengers over 37.5 degrees Celsius. He added that 84 new staff recruited to operate the cameras all have medical backgrounds and are currently in training.

Besides the 34 major TRA stations, Du said the company plans to conduct temperature checks on all passengers to prevent community transmission of Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). He said the TRA does not have a precise timetable, but the temperature screenings will be carried out at all locations across the country by the end of April, reported CNA.

During a media conference at the Legislative Yuan on Thursday morning, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators Lai Hui-yuan (賴惠員), Huang Kuo-shu (黃國書), Wang mei-huei (王美惠), and Huang Shih-chieh (黃世杰) pointed out that TRA's delayed response could become a loophole in Taiwan’s efforts to battle the pandemic. They worried the upcoming holidays will pose a serious risk to the TRA as well as staff and passengers.

The lawmakers stressed the TRA should not wait until the end of April to implement the temperature checks at all stations and that train operators should turn down any individual with COVID-19 symptoms. They added the Taiwan government should provide assistance to enhance TRA's preventive measures, which should mirror those adopted by Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, reported Storm Media.

DDP legislators express concern over TRA's delayed coronavirus response. (CNA photo)