Mumbai: BMC introduces face recognition in hospital to prevent COVID-19 spread

Updated: 22 November, 2020 07:22 IST | A correspondent | Mumbai

Biometric attendance at BMC makes way for facial recognition post COVID-19 outbreak

In May, when the BMC resumed attendance, employees at Nair Hospital refused to touch the fingerprint scan device fearing that it could be infected
In May, when the BMC resumed attendance, employees at Nair Hospital refused to touch the fingerprint scan device fearing that it could be infected

The COVID-19 safety protocols have led to a need for changes in the attendance system at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation offices. After strong opposition to the fingerprint identification system, the BMC introduced face recognition attendance at Nair Hospital as a pilot project. After successful implementation, now the system will be extended to other departments.

The BMC introduced the facial recognition system at Nair Hospital in August. Since then, around 3,000 employees have been recording their attendance without touching machines. After the successful implementation of the project, now 40 Linux-based, Aadhar verified facial biometric machines will be installed in D ward (Malabar Hill, Tardeo) office. An officer from D ward said, "The employees were asked to come with Aadhar card and the mobile number connected with Aadhar. The registration will be completed by November 24."

"We need some sort of biometric system to record attendance. This system seems efficient. If it proves beneficial, it will be installed at the headquarter and other departments of the BMC," said an officer.

The BMC had suspended biometric fingerprint attendance system on March 16 after the COVID-19 outbreak. When the BMC issued a circular to resume attendance on May 16, it faced strong opposition from employees concerned over the transmission of the virus through contact with an infected surface.

Mayor Kishori Pednekar directed administration to introduce facial recognition the system at Nair Hospital on an experimental basis after the officers expressed the view that there should have a biometric system in one form or another.

Joint Municipal Commissioner, General Administration Department, Milin Sawant, was not available for comment.

3,000
No. of employees at the BMC-run Nair Hospital who have signed up for facial recognition attendance. The successful pilot will now be replicated at D Ward office

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First Published: 22 November, 2020 07:26 IST

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