In three months, the final version will be available for validation with ambulances that transport infected people.
Coronavirus: scientists will design device for disinfection of ambulances
A team of Peruvian scientists designed the prototype of a device that will be improved for the disinfection of stretchers and ambulances in order to reduce the risks of contagion of covid-19. This scientific project -co-financed by Concytec- will use the properties of ozone for cleaning.
The proposal from the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina and the Peruvian company Tecnofood SAC was awarded in the Concytec “Special Projects: Response to COVID-19” contest with an investment of 199,998.20 soles.
The group has a prototype ready for a previous investigation related to food disinfection, but it will be modified for its application in closed environments such as ambulances, as well as the stretchers of the isolation areas of patients with covid-19.
To date, some tests have been carried out, but it is necessary to go through a validation process to detect the proportion of decontamination when using ozone.
Dr. Marcial Silva Jaimes, professor and researcher at the UNALM Faculty of Food Industries, explains that, with the funds obtained from Concytec, he has started to acquire the necessary equipment for the implementation of the tests in the laboratory of the college. The opening of the same is also expected to begin with the field work.
“Ozone is a cleaning alternative, but it depends on the ozone generator to determine the level of decontamination and the time required (which can be 15 minutes, 30 minutes or more),” he says. As an advantage over the chlorine used for this task, it is not aggressive for the environment or for the health of the user.
Furthermore, being administered by a generator and being a gas, this substance reaches all the spaces of a closed environment and thus kills microbial agents.
With the research they also hope to establish a standard that can be used for the disinfection of these transport units.
The generator prototype will be ready before the next three months and it is planned to release all the technical information so that it can be manufactured on a national scale given the health emergency.
Subsequently, tests will be carried out with an ambulance that is intervened with artificial viruses that will have a resistance similar to the new coronavirus that causes covid-19.
With successful results, tests will be carried out with random samples in different ambulances that have been used for the transfer of patients with covid-19 for disinfection and thus determine the capacity of ozone to eliminate the virus.
“The pandemic hits us and we need more researchers to get involved. Let’s leave the objections of our specialties: any knowledge contributes ”, he maintained.
In his opinion, this research will also be useful post-quarantine to improve cleaning protocols in the health area and thus reduce intra-hospital infections.