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The verticals bearing COVID-19’s brunt the most

The verticals bearing COVID-19’s brunt the most
Finding the verticals that are most affected by COVID-19 is not easy. Several countries have gone into lockdown, schools and offices either shutting down or asking people to stay at home, while activities in industries like tourism and hospitality have nosedived. 

There has been an indirect increase in security concerns due to the virus outbreak too. For instance, riots broke out at a prison in Italy after inmates were not allowed to have visitors to avoid virus infection. There have also been isolated cases of quarantined people absconding and potentially infecting others. 

Airports

For most countries, the battle against the virus begins at airports. After the outbreak in China, and its subsequent spread to South Korea and Italy, authorities began screening passengers from these countries for flu-like symptoms using temperature detection solutions.

The importance of stringent security received further emphasis after even the TSA staff contracted the virus. Although the virus outbreak has dulled the travel and airline industry, demand for security solutions in this vertical could rise in this situation. 

Education institutions

Children are always a vulnerable category during a virus outbreak. Because of this, a significant step that governments have taken is to shut down all schools. Access control, video surveillance, and emergency response systems are fundamental requirements to keep education institutions safe when they are in operation. Organizations are also seeking the help of mass notification systems, which use social media and messaging apps for information dissemination. 

Commercial Establishments

Unlike schools, offices have not been quick to allow work from home, except under extenuating circumstances. China had to resort to this at the peak of the outbreak. Other countries were more selective, with large technology firms offering the work-from-home option for staff after any infection was detected or as a preventive measure. 

There are, of course, several jobs that people can’t do from home. So, companies have no option but to make use of any solution they have to deal with this issue. Temperature screening has been the most common device in this case, with demand for thermal as well as other technology like “Eye-tear-pure.” 

The virus outbreak has also made people wary of using biometric time-and-attendance solutions and access control solutions, that require touch. Some companies have had to stop making the use of such devices mandatory for the time being. Facial recognition solutions wouldn’t work either because people end up wearing masks. Contactless access controls that could make use of modals like palm vein could be considered here, but it wouldn’t make commercial sense to change the technology based on the current situation alone. 

Transport

Beyond airports, public transport including buses, flights, and trains have come under the spotlight as spaces where people gather near each other. Onboard surveillance systems can come in handy on vehicles to monitor any emergency and avoid mass panic. 

Besides the virus infection itself, a major issue that authorities have to deal with is the hysteria and fear surrounding it. When there is so much news of COVID-19 going around, it would be easy for people to panic if someone is sitting next to them on a bus sneezes or coughs. Such situations could escalate to security situations. 


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