The Coronavirus pandemic has restarted the debate on the hygiene practices that always seemed to be a secondary concern for most of the world. With a deadly pandemic going around, suddenly, everyone is conscious of how clean their surroundings are and for a good reason.
The last thing we need is the Coronavirus having a free run on top of its already breakneck rates of proliferation. Several conventional methods have been deployed all over the world in hospitals, airports, and other public and private spaces to slow the spread of this disease. Handwashing and wearing masks seem to be the most common among them.
During this period of uncertainty and fear, scientists are trying to come up with innovative solutions to the immediate problems most public and private spaces face in terms of hygiene. To this end, researchers have come up with an idea to repurpose a decades-old piece of technology to help kill the Coronavirus in the air. Aptly named the Upper-room Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation, it is akin to harnessing the anti-microbial powers of sunlight and bringing it into our homes. The concept is pretty old, with a lot of data and research behind it.
The method simply works, the truckload of literature behind has proven unconditionally that this method not only works but is also highly effective in sterilizing any area to the point of being free of any airborne infections. UV radiation had long been known to kill all kinds of germs that may or may not cause diseases. The UV radiation present in sunlight is the primary disinfectant for many wild animals as they use it to keep their bodies clean and healthy. The concept is already in use in hospital rooms and even the metros of some western nations where the portable UV units are being used to sterilize surfaces.
The concept is simple, a UV unit is installed on walls or ceilings like normal lights, and it only shines the UV radiation up to a certain height, which is well above the heads of the occupants of the room. Then a ceiling fan is used to draw all the air in the room towards the top end and made to go around in circles as the flow is established, which is cut across the middle by the sterilizing UV radiation. The units have been known to kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi quickly and without much hassle.
This does not mean that it is not dangerous. UV radiation can, in addition to zapping bacteria mid-air, also zap some genes of the genome of humans, causing random mutations. High exposure to UV radiation has been directly identified as the leading cause of skin cancer and other skin diseases. These units need to make in such a way that they only emit radiation of a certain frequency and no more. If the security measures are strong enough, this could prove to be the most effective weapon in our war against this pandemic.