A woman putting face mask on her child to mitigate chances of novel coronavirus infection, to fight which Indian scientists have now developed a disinfection gateway in Kerala

Indian scientists have developed a scanner-like device that can disinfect a person and sanitise its chamber in 40 seconds using fumigation and UV-light

Scientists at the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), Trivandrum have come up with a disinfection gateway -- a portable system that generates hydrogen-peroxide mist and UV-based decontamination facility to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The SCTIMST, an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DST) of the central government, said in a release that the disinfectant gateway is an electronically controlled system.

The hydrogen-peroxide fumes will decontaminate the body, hands, and clothes of a person whereas the UV system will decontaminate the chamber attached to it, the institute said. The electronically controlled system will have sensors that will detect the entry of a person in a room and generate hydrogen-peroxide mist for fumigation.

The person will be required to walk through the chamber attached to its end. When the person exits, the system will shut off the hydrogen peroxide fumigation system and will turn on the UV lamp inside the chamber to decontaminate it.

The UV light will get switched off automatically after a prescribed time. The chamber will then get 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," said the department's release.

The technology can be proved crucial in the times of the pandemic spread. Professor Ashutosh Sharma, the DST secretary, said disinfection of people, garments, surfaces and used disposable protective gears is vital to break the chain of transmission of viral infection from one person to another.

The SCTIMST has also developed a UV-based facemask disposal bin that can be useful in fight against COVID-19. It can be used by health workers in hospitals and in public places, where decontamination of used facemasks, overhead covers and face shields are required to break the infection chain.

Face masks are a must-have item due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, but the used masks are hazardous waste and can spread infection further if not disposed of properly. The waste collectors are at risk of being exposed to COVID-19 while performing their duties.

Instead of just throwing used face masks into the waste bin, disinfecting the used mask is a must. Design and know-how of the new dustbin have been transferred to HMT Machine Tools, the institute said.

According to professor Sharma, the use of hydrogen-peroxide spray and ultraviolet light in appropriate doses are two robust weapons to fight COVID-19 pandemic.