Health experts urge UK to use cheap anti-bacterial spray used to curb coronavirus in UAE

Health experts urge UK to use cheap anti-bacterial spray used to curb coronavirus in UAE
Health experts urge UK to use cheap anti-bacterial spray used to curb coronavirus in UAE

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Scientists, academics and business leaders are pushing for a cheap, water-like disinfectant spray to be used more widely in Britain to contain the coronavirus, after the product was shown to be effective in the UAE and other countries like China and South Korea.

Hypochlorous acid – known more widely as HOCl – is 100 times more effective as a disinfectant than bleach, killing germs and viruses immediately. It is a non-hazardous, weak acid that has been approved by the World Health Organisation and his harmless to plants and animals. It has a colourless, water-like, appearance.

HOCl has been used in the UAE's national disinfectant programme and has been central to South Korea’s lauded strategy of containing the virus since March. The far eastern country has some of the lowest coronavirus figures globally with just 14,092 infected and only 298 deaths confirmed. Korean frontline workers would go to drive-through Covid-19 testing stations at the end of their shifts, where they would step into booths and be showered in HOCl disinfectant.

Health experts have suggested that the chemical could be sprayed on people by walking through metal detector-style arches on their way into venues in Britain. It could be to keep work offices, schools and entertainment venues safe as lockdown eases.

“We should have used HOCl from the very start. It would have made a huge difference – but it’s still not too late,’ Dr Darren Reynolds, professor in Health and Environment at the University of the West of England told The Daily Mail.

-based company Naffco makes fogging tunnels with the spray, which are used at bus stops, train stations, in airports and in cinemas in the UAE. The tunnels are currently not in operation in Britain.

The British government only this week allowed official trials of the disinfectant for use against Covid-19 in Britain. The UK’s disinfectant of choice for health care settings is often sodium hypchlorite (SH), which unlike HOCl, is an irritant and is corrosive.

The British Department for Health & Social Care did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Trimite is a business that distributes sanitising fogging tunnels in the UK under the name of ShieldMe.

“The potential of fogging with hypochlorous acid is huge,’ said David Roberts, chairman of Trimite.

“We are currently in discussions with some Premiership rugby and football clubs – and we think our three-man tunnels are the solution for bringing spectators back into stadiums,” he added.

“There will be some queuing but it will take no longer to walk through a fogging tunnel than it will to go through a turnstyle where you have to show your ticket.”

Updated: July 25, 2020 07:33 PM

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