The Indian Ministry of Consumer Affairs Relaxes Import Norms of Infrared Thermometers
The novel corona virus-infected cases are mounting every day, and the whole world is on alert. One of the important symptoms of COVID-19 infection is fever. Hence keeping tabs on the body temperature has become one of the ways to screen a large number of people at airports as well as in communities ever since the outbreak of this deadly infectious disease. Infrared thermometers help in screening multiple people with minimum disinfection, and also from a distance. Globally, this method of screening fever in a population has become popular now during the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the main types of non-contact thermometers is an infrared thermometer. These thermometers are held 3 to 15 cm away from the patient and typically measure temperature on the forehead or temple. Infrared thermometers can check the human temperature by sensing infrared energy radiated by the body.
There is also a spurt in demand for infrared thermometers in India. Hence the Government of India has eased down procedures at the custom level for easier import of the non-contact infrared thermometers during this hour of crisis by issuing no-objection certificate (NOC) for release of these medical devices.
Rules and Provisions for Infrared thermometers in India
- The provisions of section 19, 22, 23 of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 and the provisions of Rule 27 of the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 are applicable to Infrared (Electrical) thermometers.
- Due to urgency of surveillance of each and every individual and to trace COVID-19 infected patients, government requested custom authorities to release all the consignments of Infrared thermometers. The pivotal condition is that the importers need to follow and comply with the Legal Metrology Act & Rules within 3 months of the clearance by the custom.
- All the importers are also informed that in case they are non-compliant to the specifications or requirements of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 & the Rules laid under it or if the infrared models failed quality testing need to withdraw all the products of infrared thermometers from the market at their own cost. The importers will also face action as per provisions under the said act and rules in case of such undesired scenarios.
This move of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Government of India for rapid release of infrared thermometers in the market will help in faster screening of the population of the country. Increased availability of non-contact infrared thermometers is expected to help the health care workers and the officials involved in screening a higher number of people and detect infected cases of COVID-19 patients faster and thereby curb the spreading of infection.
Non-Contact Thermometers for Detecting Fever: A Review of Clinical Effectiveness. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK263237/
.Accessed on: 19 th April, 2020.
NOC.I-9/20/2020-W&M Section. Government of India. Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. Department of Consumer Affairs. Weights and Measures Unit. Dated 7 th April,2020.