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Disinfectant Chambers Doing The Rounds

As the coronavirus refuses to relent, one of the sales pitches doing the rounds is a 4x4x7-feet automatic sanitizer chamber machine, at a retail price of Rs 95000 or so.

Vehicle Research Development Establishment (VRDE), Ahmednagar, a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratory had first released this product on April 8, 2020. Its walk-through enclosure is designed for personnel decontamination of one person at a time. This is a portable system equipped with sanitizer and soap dispenser. The decontamination can be started by using a foot pedal at the entry. Upon entering the chamber, an electrically operated pump creates a disinfectant mist of hyposodiumchloride. The mist spray is calibrated for the operation of 25 seconds and stops automatically indicating completion of the operation. As per procedure, personnel undergoing disinfection will need to keep their eyes closed while inside the chamber.

The system consists of roof mounted and bottom tanks with a total of 700 liters capacity. Approximately 650 personnel can pass through the chamber for disinfection until the refill is required. The system has see-through glass panels on side walls for monitoring purpose and is fitted with lights for illumination during night time operations. A separate operator cabin is provided to monitor overall operations. The system has been manufactured with the help of DH Ltd, Ghaziabad. This system can be used for disinfection of personnel at the areas of controlled ingress and egress such as entry and exit to hospitals, malls, office buildings and critical installations.

Scientists at the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), Trivandrum on April 10 also released their new product, a disinfection gateway, a portable electronically controlled system that generates hydrogen-peroxide mist and UV-based decontamination facility to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. The hydrogen-peroxide fumes decontaminates the body, hands, and clothes of a person whereas the UV system decontaminates the chamber attached to it. The electronically controlled system has sensors that detect the entry of a person in a room and generate hydrogen-peroxide mist for fumigation.

The person is required to walk through the chamber attached to its end. When the person exits, the system shuts off the hydrogen peroxide fumigation system and turns on the UV lamp inside the chamber to decontaminate it. The UV light switches off automatically after a prescribed time. The chamber then gets ready for the next person. The whole process takes just 40 seconds for disinfecting one person. The system has see-through glass panels on sidewalls for monitoring and is fitted with lights for illumination during use.

The design and know-how have been transferred to HMT Machine Tools, Ernakulam, Kerala.  The use of hydrogen-peroxide spray and ultraviolet light in appropriate doses are two robust weapons to fight Covid-19 pandemic.

Details on any side effects of this procedure are yet to be explored.-MB Bureau