He said this during his appearance on the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) COVID-19 Daily Briefing for May 15.
Dr. Wilkinson highlighted that “doing a temperature check will only pick up someone who has a fever and we would be assuming that the person who has the fever has COVID-19.”
He stated as well that “someone can have COVID-19 and not have a fever or doing temperature checks will only pick up persons who have COVID-19 with a fever.”
“It will, however, miss persons who are pre-symptomatic, that is, persons who have the infection but do not have any symptoms as yet or persons who are asymptomatic but have the infection and these two persons could also be spreading the virus,” said the Medial Chief of Staff.
“We can also have persons who suppress their temperature by taking paracetamol and other drugs to control their temperature,” he said.
“We also know too that one just doesn’t have a fever burning up for 24 hours, sometimes fevers come in spikes and troughs and so they can go out when they have a drop in their temperature,” he said.
“So just doing the temperature checks alone will not be sufficient and that is why we speak about the other important things in terms of the social distancing, wearing your mask, hand sanitizing etc,” added the Medical Chief of Staff.
“It is not just enough to turn someone back with a fever, because if we are saying that we are turning them back because they have a fever and they have COVID-19, you have the responsibility also to refer them on to a health authority or to a doctor or their private physician so that they can be properly evaluated to make sure that they don’t spread the virus,” Dr. Wilkinson said.