The Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur has set up a disinfection tunnel for sanitizing visitors to the campus during the ongoing lockdown triggered by the coronavirus outbreak, an official said on Saturday.
The tunnel has been installed at the sole entry point of the campus for essential services staff such those involved in cleaning operations and once the lockdown is lifted, it can be of use to screen visitors until the threat of COVID-19 is gone, he said.
While passing through the tunnel, a visitor is sprayed with a disinfectant solution coming out of a high-pressure air compressor.
The system to automate the process of disinfecting visitors was developed by Prof Mihir Sarangi, Associate Professor Mechanical Engineering, along with faculty and staff members from various departments.
“The output material is like mist and highly effective as it covers a larger surface area unlike liquid disinfectant. Also, it does not need any drainage,” Sarangi said.
This mechanism is, however, a supplement for hand washing or the need to wear face masks in public. Hand wash stations have been placed just outside the disinfection tunnel, he said.
The product prototype has been built indigenously at the IIT Kharagpur in less than a week while the campus is under lockdown.
The prototype is now fully operational at IIT Kharagpur and is used for all people entering the campus.
The commercial model for the product has been estimated to be available for Rs 4 Lakh.
IIT KGP Director Prof Virendra K Tewari said such technologies can be quickly built and employed at any location which has a daily influx of essential service providers.
“Our campus is like a mini township which, in the current situation, requires automation of hygiene and safety protocols for essential service providers who are coming out of their homes every day to serve at the campus and also the campus community who are interacting with these visitors,” he said. Tewari said more such innovations to assist India’s fight against COVID-19 are underway.
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