Woman Dies After Screened By Faulty Hikvision Fever Camera System

By Robert Wren Gordon, Published Mar 17, 2021, 08:41am EDT

A 27-year-old woman died with COVID-19 hours after a Hikvision open-air, low-resolution, no-black-body fever camera gave her the all-clear with a "normal" temperature.

A Hikvision spokesperson told IPVM their hearts go out to the deceased's family but emphasized the need for following "product usage instructions" (instead of Hikvision's own marketing).

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For previous IPVM coverage of Hikvision fever camera implementations in Colombia, see:


Karen Eliana Quiñónez Cortes, 27, boarded a bus at the South Transport Terminal in Bogotá, Colombia in the early hours of February 10, 2021 (during which the temperature in Bogotá was around 10°C, or 50°F, according to AccuWeather and The Weather Channel), en route to the coastal Colombian city of Tumaco (see map):

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As reported in Bogotá newspaper El Tiempo, according to a terminal representative, Ms. Quiñónez's temperature, as measured by a fever camera upon arrival at the terminal, was 35.4°C, or 95.72°F (in Spanish, IPVM translated to English):

We have the recording of the security cameras that evidences that the washing and disinfection of hands was done at the entry of the terminal, disinfection of the footwear and the process of measurement that includes the measurement of body temperature with thermographic cameras, which recorded a temperature of 35.4 degrees, which is considered normal, and no signs were presented that made us think that first aid should be offered and she did not present any affliction associated with the respiratory system. [emphasis added]

Hikvision Fever Camera Screening

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Bogotá's three main bus terminals, including the South Transport Terminal where Ms. Quiñónez departed from, apply doorway fever camera screening as shown in this local news video:

IPVM has identified the interface in the above video as Hikvision iVMS, as shown in this video (see 2:35).

Additionally, a Hikvision bullet fever camera shown in the above video, screencapped below:

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This model has a low 160 x 120 resolution:

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Contrary to international standards, temperatures are being read without a black body in a non-climate controlled environment, as demonstrated in the excerpt below:

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Additionally, IPVM noticed in this screenshot from a local news video that the Hikvision camera consistently generates temperatures in the 35.5°C (95.9°F) range, as was the case with Ms. Quiñónez:

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In a new peer-reviewed study published in the Journal of Biomedical Optics, IPVM researchers found that devices from seven different manufacturers, including Hikvision, systematically manipulate temperature readings and regularly report fever-level temperatures as normal.

This is a risk in the case of Bogotá, where one of the terminal's Hikvision fever cameras had only recorded one abnormal temperature after 4,207 readings:

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Furthermore, as Hikvision admits and IPVM testing found, not using a black body significantly decreases accuracy, with missed detections more severe and common:

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See our test for full details: Hikvision Temperature Screening Tested.

Passenger Dies

Despite receiving the all-clear from a Hikvision fever camera, Ms. Quiñónez was unwell before her bus departed from Bogotá.

According to an earlier article from El Tiempo, Ms. Quiñónez displayed coronavirus symptoms such as a cough in the bus terminal prior to boarding and required assistance to board (in Spanish, IPVM translated to English):

According to information from the secretary of health of the municipality, Laura Arenas, the woman [Ms. Quiñónez] presented symptoms such as cough and general malaise while she waited for the bus in the Bogotá transport terminal.

Even the passengers mentioned that they had to help [her] get on the bus[.] [emphasis added]

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The condition of Ms. Quiñónez, who was traveling with her four children, deteriorated during the bus journey. At sometime around 6:00 [1] or 6:15 A.M. [2],[3] local time one of Ms. Quiñónez's children alerted the bus driver that their mother was unwell. The driver immediately diverted the bus to Hospital La Misericordia de Calarcá (pictured), where Ms. Quiñónez was admitted at 6:30 A.M. [4],[5],[6]

A hospital press release published to Facebook confirmed that Ms. Quiñónez was admitted dead on arrival. A postmortem coronavirus test administered by the hospital returned a positive result.

Other Travelers Placed in Quarantine

The 26 individuals traveling with Ms. Quiñónez were ordered to quarantine at their respective destinations. [7],[8]

Not the First Death After Fever Camera Screening in Colombia

Sadly, Ms. Quiñónez's is not the first instance of a Colombian dying shortly after being screened by fever cameras.

In September 2020, an unnamed 41-year-old man died in Cartagena, Colombia after flying into the coastal Caribbean city from Bogotá. [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15]

This August 2020 video posted to the YouTube channel of El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá highlights that temperatures are taken at thermal corridors located at "each entrance:"

Hikvision and Meditherm devices are among the fever cameras used for entrance screening at El Dorado.

Hikvision Response

Hikvision responded to Ms. Quiñónez Cortes's case in Bogotá:

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Our hearts go out to the Cortés family in what has been a difficult year for the entire world.

Hikvision’s temperature screening products are designed for the detection of skin-surface temperatures as a supporting solution to conduct rapid preliminary screening in public areas. To facilitate the proper use of our products, we have made this clear in our previous product usage instructions, and indicating that actual core body temperatures should be further confirmed using clinical measurement devices.

We will continue to comply with local guidance by working with our local partners, and ensuring that our equipment meets the needs of our customers when assisting communities return to normal. [emphasis added]

Following "Product Usage Instructions"

While Hikvision emphasizes following product usage instructions, Hikvision's own marketing is filled with examples that violate Hikvision's own instructions in a similar manner to this case, such as below:

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Hikvision wants it both ways. They widely marketed that they could deliver open-air, windowed, no black body screening and then blame their customers for violating their instructions while following the lead of Hikvision's own marketing.

Hikvision and other fever camera manufacturers know that their deployments have substantial problems but do virtually nothing to ensure that installs comply with international standards. Thanks to their profits-over-ethics mentality, thousands of systems around the world expose the public to similar risks as the tragic death of a 27-year-old mother.

2 reports cite this report:

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