BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — At a time when the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic appears not to be abating anytime soon, especially with the emergency of new variants of the virus, the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis has stepped up its Covid-19 fight using the latest technology.
“The Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis is leading the charge in the Federation in combatting the spread of the novel coronavirus by using the latest in thermal scanning technologies and adjustments in their standard of operating procedures and policies,” said Michael Peets of Digital Security Services Ltd.
Thermal imagining cameras have been installed by Digital Security Services Ltd. at the bank’s head office at the corner of Church and Central Streets in Basseterre, and at the branch office on Chapel Street in Charlestown, Nevis. The cameras allow for clients’ temperatures to be taken without any contact as they are mounted on the wall, eight feet above the ground.
“What we have here is our thermal imaging solution,” explained Peets after the installation of the thermal camera at the head office in Basseterre. “It measures the temperature as you walk through the door and come into the establishment, a contactless solution.”
Security guards and frontline staff members at the head office and at the branch office have been trained to use a tablet to retrieve the information from the cameras. According to Peets, that information is important when it comes to contact tracing should any client show signs of the disease and can also be shared with the Ministry of Health.
Those trained in Basseterre, include Manager Human Resource Unit, Ms. Danienne Brin; Manager of the Management Information System Unit, Laurinston Matthew; Management Systems Technical Officer, Eldean Huggins; Marketing and Product Development Officer, Ms. Chantelle Rochester; Customer Service Representatives, Ms. Vershary Hanley, and Raheem Rogers; and Alpha and Omega Security Solutions Security Guard, Ms. Terrianne Bahadur.
Nevis training was provided to Branch Manager, Ms. Hyacinth Pemberton; Customer Service Representatives, Ms. Tywana Cranston and Chemor Bartlette; and Alpha and Omega Security Solutions Security Guard, Lincoln Dyer.
According to Human Resource Manager at the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis, Ms. Danienne Brin, guidelines on how to use the thermal cameras have been circulated. All clients are aware that when they enter the establishment they will have their temperatures taken using the new cameras.
“We are now in the second week since the implementation and pleased clients are responding to it,” said Ms Brin. “The guidelines outline that bank customers need to have on a mask. Our security personnel will sanitise customer’s hands and the dispenser is available if customers want to do it. The security person will direct customers to a marked area where they stand and position themselves to look up to the camera, which will take their picture and temperature.”
If the temperature is normal, the camera will release a recorded message ‘testing pass.’ The client can then proceed on to their appointments or discussions with bank officers.
If the temperature is elevated, the recorded message will say ‘warning high temperature.’ At this stage, the client will be requested to take a seat for about five minutes to cool off before they are asked to come forward to have their temperature taken again.
“The temperature is displayed on the monitor so the client can see it on the screen instead of someone telling them their temperature,” said Ms. Brin. “If testing is done a second time, and it is normal, the customer can move beyond in the camera and institution based on their scheduled appointment. If it is still elevated, the customer will be asked to touch base with their officer by telephone or email. That officer will determine the best way to serve the customer, given their elevated temperature.”
Both Ms. Brin and the Nevis Branch Office Manager, Ms. Hyacinth Pemberton, said they are pleased with how the cameras are operating. She said that the only time red flags will be raised will be due to a client’s elevated temperature due to being out in the hot sun for a lengthy period, as a second reading would be normal.
“As part of the COVID-19 fight at the Nevis branch office we moved a step ahead when it comes to the implementation of the Covid-19 protocols,” said Ms Pemberton. “Last August, we relocated to new offices on Chapel Street and when the building was being refurbished; permanent social distancing markers were included outside the office leading to the front door. Clients have to stay behind those marking before they come into the establishment. This has worked out very well.”