High quality thermal scanners and contact-less cameras will be installed by the Southern Railway in select stations to record body temperature of passengers and check their tickets as part of preventive measures against COVID-19, officials said.

While the thermal scanners will screen passengers for fever, one of the symptoms of COVID-19, the contact less cameras would help the officials check the tickets on a monitor as the travellers enter the stations, they said.

At least 11 stations – nine in Kerala and one each in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu under the Palakkad and Thiruvananthapuram divisions – have been chosen for the initial roll out of the to scanners to detect people running with fever.

“We are going to purchase the thermal scanners which will record the body temperature of passengers as they enter the platform. This will save time”, Palakkad Divisional Railway Manager Pratap Singh Shami said on Tuesday.

The scanner would give out a beep sound if the temperature recorded was beyond a certain range and the passenger would not be allowed to travel, he said.

“The work on installing the system will begin soon and we are expecting the scanners to begin functional from July 15”, the official said.

The division will get seven contact-less cameras for checking the tickets. The passengers will have to hold their tickets in front of the camera and a railway official can check them on a monitor without coming in contact with the travellers, he said.

Shornur, Tirur, Kozhikode, Kannur, Kasaragod in Kerala and Mangaluruin Karnataka in Palakkad division and Kottayam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Thrissur in Kerala and Nagercoil in neighbouring Tamil Nadu under the Thiruvnanthapuram division will get the thermal scanners.

Railway sources here said a thermal camera has already been installed at the Central Railway Station in Thiruvananthapuram thanks to the initiative of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, representing Thiruvananthapuram in Lok Sabha. The contact-less cameras for ticket checking would also be introduced, they said.

Though regular train services have been cancelled till August 12 in view of increasing number of coronavirus cases, the special trains – 15 pairs on the Rajdhani routes and 100 pairs of mail/express trains – are being operated.