The coronavirus pandemic has taken the world by storm. It is something that is unprecedented in living history, and worldwide, people are still grappling with solutions to deal with it. Technologies like UVC light have been grabbing the headlines due to their efficiency in killing the virus. Let’s take a look at how UV disinfection systems in India can help us do the same for our hospitals.
The coronavirus is known to remain active on surfaces like plastic and stainless steel for about 3 days, and on cardboard and copper for about 1 day. That means if an infected person walks into a building on a given day, then you are still susceptible to catching the virus even if you enter the same building three days later. This makes public and community buildings like schools, hospitals and offices – a hot-bed for the spread of the disease.
In this blog, we’ll be highlighting the crisis in hospitals and healthcare systems, how UV sanitization solutions can help and some real-life case-studies where hospitals have been able to incorporate UV light-based solutions to improve their health standards and disinfection protocols.
Hospitals: A Hotbed for Coronavirus Spread
In the current scenario, hospitals bag the spot for the top public place to avoid, and it is indeed not without reason. Understandably, it is the place where all sick people are congregated, and hence, the first place to avoid. And with an infrastructure pressurized by ever-increasing numbers of COVID cases, the sharing of amenities becomes paramount.
In Italy, 8.91% of coronavirus patients were healthcare workers, by far the biggest number across any profession type. Given India’s dismal health infrastructure and organization, this number might be even more horrific for our country.
“Definitely there is a fatigue setting in from all frontline workers, especially because there is a very high chance of healthcare workers getting infected”, says a doctor who works on the COVID-19 ward in Guru Nanak Hospital in Mumbai.
Since February 1, 206 healthcare workers including – two faculty, ten resident doctors, 26 nurses, nine technicians, five mess workers, 49 hospital attendants, 34 sanitation workers and 69 security guards – have been infected by the novel coronavirus, an AIIMS official said.
These figures only seem to be rising up, which begs the question – who will be the healer if the doctors themselves are becoming infected?
Pictures have been emerging globally showing the plight of doctors – tired, sleeping and working round the clock in hospitals, bruises on faces from wearing PPEs for long hours. We clearly need to protect the health-care workers who are selflessly risking their lives while trying to save the lives of others.
Hence, disinfection and sanitization of hospital surfaces has become an incredibly essential task.
Robots to the Rescue!
Last month, we conducted a face-shield donation drive donating about 810 face shields which we had 3D-printed in our office. In the process, we ended up speaking to a lot of doctors who were working in COVID wards, getting to know about the sanitization protocols in their hospitals.
And to our surprise, we found out that the method being used to disinfect was an archaic one. In all the hospitals, a class IV employee or a sweeper manually sweeps all the walls and floors of the hospital with Bleach or Hydrogen Peroxide soaked scrub. This method is extremely dangerous to the lives of the employee doing it, exposing them to poisonous chemicals. And it is also inefficient as these employees might not be able to disinfect all surfaces.
Clearly, we need a contactless disinfection system. And that’s where our saviours come in – robots.
Robots are being utilized in a myriad of ways inside hospitals – to help families interact in real-time with patients from a safe distance, to deliver meals or prescriptions and even for transporting infectious samples to laboratories for testing. But the main area where robots are helping fight this battle is by carrying out disinfection and sanitization. Most of these robots utilize UV light to kill the virus on surfaces and in the air.
A fleet of 2000 of such robots that are able to disinfect patient rooms and operating theaters in hospitals have been deployed in Wuhan, with each robot costing US $90,000 (~INR Rs. 70 lacs). Hundreds more are in work in about 40 other countries.
#VocalForLocal – Homegrown Robotic UV Disinfection Systems in India
UV disinfection robots have proven to be a boon to hospitals across the world. But with skyrocketing costs of international UV robots and limited shipping facilities in these times – the hospitals right here in India with the direst need for such solutions, have been left wanting for more.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has made all of us acutely aware of the extreme importance of being self-reliant. As attested by our Prime Minister, the “Make in India” sentiment needs to be at the forefront of our minds if we plan to emerge victorious against the virus.
So with these driving forces, Avishkaar has effortlessly worked the last two months to research and design a cost-effective and efficient UV robot certified by IIT-Delhi. UVRakshak – as we call it – is a smart and autonomous UV-C enabled robot that can disinfect large spaces completely in 20 minutes. If we are to win this fight, we need to engage & deploy UV disinfection systems in India in as many hospitals as possible.
Avishkaar is an India grown company with over 10 years of experience in educational and social robotics. We have designed a range of cost-effective and efficient UVC solutions certified by IIT-Delhi. Go #VocalForLocal by buying from Avishkaar, and make your homes and offices safe again! Check out https://uvc.avishkaar.cc to know more.
Please do check out our blog on whether UV light is effective against coronavirus to gain more knowledge on the subject.