Taiwan Bans the Use of Infrared Thermometers as COVID Cases Surge Around the World

Although many in the US are fully vaccinated and have seemingly put the pandemic in the past, COVID-19 numbers are steadily rising for the first time in months. The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the US is grappling with a renewed surge of cases in what many are calling the “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” Health experts also attribute the increase to relaxed restrictions on gatherings and mask mandates, as well as a rise in the highly contagious Delta variant.

The increase in COVID cases is not an isolated issue here in America. Numbers are also rising around the world with hot spots in Israel, Cuba, Spain, Japan, and the UK. Due to the rise in cases, many countries are tightening restrictions and cracking down on ineffective tools used to detect and treat the virus, namely thermometers.

According to an article in the Taiwan Times, “companies that sell thermometers that measure skin temperature and claim they can detect fever are breaking the law and would face fines of up to $892,953 (USD), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said last week.” Instead, officials recommend using government-approved thermometers, such as oral, axillary, and rectal thermometers.

Infrared and thermo-scanners are only allowed to be used as a reference because the devices are not approved for medical use. Taiwan FDA Medical Devices & Cosmetics Division Specialist, Lin Hsin-hui, stated that “…temperature is easily affected by peripheral circulation or the environment, and varies significantly from true body temperature.” Hsin-hui adds that there are no clinical trials proving that skin temperature is a valid way to determine if someone does or does not have a fever.

As of July 12, 2021, importing, manufacturing, or selling such devices for medical purposes is illegal in Taiwan. Those who choose to ignore the new regulation could face up to three years in jail and fines close to $900,000 (USD). Additionally, companies and individuals claiming that infrareds and other similar devices can be used to check for a fever can be fined $20,000-$900,000 (USD).

The article ends by stating that people who contract COVID-19 develop a fever in the initial stages of the infection, so the Taiwan FDA is urging people to monitor their temperature regularly with a thermometer approved for medical use.

While infrared and thermal imaging devices are not an accurate way to take a temperature, all of Medical Indicators’ thermometers are. Our thermometers are specifically designed for oral, axillary, and rectal use, providing an accurate core body temperature reading each and every time. And their disposability means that once a temperature is taken, you simply discard the thermometer and all of the germs along with it – virtually eliminating the risk of spreading COVID-19 to others. Learn more about our highly accurate, single-use thermometers and how they can help you today.