SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY-AIRPORT) – As the island strategically reopened after months of the coronavirus lockdown, Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company N.V. (PJIAE) has been continuously implementing strategies to combat the influx of COVID-19. PJIAE installed a mass fever screening equipment with artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithms which measures a high accuracy rate on temperature recognition.
The testing phase of the mass fever screening equipment was completed on June 26, 2020 with a setup that includes a camera detection device in conjunction with a computer operating system. The technology is stationed at the entrance of the Arrivals section of the Terminal Building and manned by the Airport’s personnel. During the discreet surveillance, passengers are screened before entering the Immigration line.
In June 2020, PJIAE began its implementation of its COVID-19 Prevention and Mitigation plan with the overall goal to minimize the importation and spread of the virus, and to protect the staff, stakeholders and passengers from becoming infected.
“PJIAE started its search and analysis for the best mitigation and safety protocols back in March 2020. We have adopted best global practices and we will continue to improve our mechanism to protect our staff, stakeholders, and valuable passengers,” said the COVID-19 Task Force Chairman, Connally Connor.
According to the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) the COVID-19 screening guidelines suggest that persons with temperatures of 38 degrees or higher should be flagged because they could possibly be showing symptoms of the virus. Studies also established that the mass fever screening equipment can detect temperatures up to eight (8) meters away and is safe for the frontline staff of the Airport. These non-contact devices can quickly measure and display a temperature reading, which enables a vast number of persons to be evaluated individually at points of entry.
Mass fever screening is certainly not considered as the “holy grail” of COVID-19 detection, due to a high number of asymptomatic patients and it is not effective if used as the only means of detecting a COVID-19 infection. It is part of a wider safety mechanism which includes all the necessary Personal Protective Equipment’s (PPEs) for frontline staff, protection barriers at all counters, mandatory face covering, increased hand sanitizing and sophisticated air circulation and cleaning and disinfecting protocols in the Terminal Building.
Many tourist destinations around the world, including the Government of Sint Maarten have introduced a mandatory PCR test for visitors from high risk areas to diagnose an active virus before embarkation. Additionally, the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor is also working meticulously with the PJIAE to ensure the necessary collaborative efforts are executed for a safer St. Maarten.
If anyone would like to acquire general information about the COVID-19 Prevention and Mitigation measures and travel requirements at the SXM Airport, please contact us at the in-house hotline #9777.
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