Innovative Technologies to Combat COVID-19

IIT Ropar develops a device utilizing UV radiations to sterilize potentially infected surfaces.

IIT Ropar develops a UV radiated trunk to sanitize goods, protecting against the transmission of coronavirus through vegetables, newspapers, banknotes, wallets etc. brought into the house. The UV radiation trunk can kill germs resting a surface within a matter of half an hour causing no damage to the items.

The trunk takes around 30 mins to irradiate and kill the germs present on the surface, a 10 min cooling off period is recommended after the irradiation before taking out the items.

In the wake of current pandemic, hygiene norms have taken a forefront in every household, people are washing hands, washings edibles, using hand sanitizer quite often to protect from transmission of germs through an unclean or infected surface.

While vegetables and fruits can be rinsed with hot water or soap water daily use items like newspapers, wallets, mobile phones, banknotes etc. can be sanitized with soap and water.

Naresh Rakha, Senior Scientific Officer at IIT Ropar said, “Right now there are many who wash vegetables with warm water before using but the same cannot be done with currency notes or wallets. So we have developed a common sanitizing solution for everything.”

He further added, “The device is based on ultraviolet germicidal irradiation technology used in water purifiers. We strongly advise not to look directly at the light inside the trunk as it can be harmful.”

The device is based on ultraviolet germicidal irradiation technology used in water purifiers, its production costs around 500rs per unit.

Union HRD minister for Communications and Electronics and IT tweeted a congratulatory message to the institute

Given the morbid transmission of coronavirus, scientists are also concern about transmission of the virus through newspapers which go through a lot of hands before landing at one’s door.

Confederation of all India traders in a letter to FM Nirmala Sitharaman asked to look into the possibility of infection transmission via currency notes.

“The currency notes are most vulnerable to health of people and are an easy carrier of communicable diseases and as such a proper investigation is all the more needed and the Government should bring out a comprehensive policy to promote an alternative mode of payments including digital payments coupled with incentives and benefits to encourage more and more people for adoption and acceptance of alternate mode of payments in the larger interest of health of the country,” said the CAIT.

According to US’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Princeton University, and University of California, the SARS-COV-2 (virus) can survive for up to four hours on copper and up to 24 hours on cardboard, while on plastic and stainless steel, it could last for at least six days

However, there’s no specific study indicating how long a virus can survive on paper or banknotes to potently infect someone.

By: Dhruv Lahariya

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