By now, the COVID-19 outbreak has proven to be extremely difficult to contain, both from an engineering and administrative standpoint. It is especially true for densely populated settings, where it can spread even with some safeguards present. In this article, we’ll take a look at how to prevent the spread of infection in crowded areas and whether disinfection channels can assist in this.
How to Prevent COVID-19 Transmission: The Strategic Perspective
A well-developed infrastructure is the main factor in overcoming the public health crisis of COVID-19. It covers everything from appropriately equipped healthcare facilities to basic amenities with sanitation supplies. However, this kind of infrastructure is available mostly in high-density urban areas which come with their own set of risks.
The most feasible strategy to follow in densely populated areas is to limit social contacts or, to put it simply, stay home. Unfortunately, while it can be achieved on a personal level, for many organizations this is simply not possible, so the question “How to prevent the spread of infection” becomes a matter of public safety. For such settings, CDC has issued mitigation recommendations on personal, administrative, and engineering controls. The four key practices highlighted in this document are:
- Physical distancing
- Cleaning and disinfection
- Hand hygiene
- Respiratory etiquette
While the first is mostly a matter of changes in behavior, a disinfection tunnel for COVID-19 can assist in the remaining three. Let’s look at each point in detail.
Multi-Purpose Disinfection Channel Machine
As its name suggests, the main purpose of a disinfection sanitizing tunnel is to disinfect surfaces. The machine is designed to incorporate the latest technological advancements, which gives it many advantages over traditional approaches. Its main strength is the application method. The disinfectant is sprayed through nozzles that disperse it into a fine fog which then settles on all surfaces inside. The size of the dispersed particles is so small that it thoroughly permeates objects with complex surfaces without creating a sense of moisture. The technique is equally effective for people and inanimate objects, making it feasible for a broad range of applications.
Another benefit is the composition of the disinfectant itself. Currently, the most advanced models on the market use hypochlorous acid, also known as electrolyzed or super oxidized water. This substance is effective against viruses and bacteria yet completely safe for plants and animals, which is why it has been used as a food-grade disinfectant long before the COVID-19 outbreak. Recently, it has been approved for use in schools by Health Canada and may soon become a disinfection solution in a hospital setting.
Finally, the fog disinfection channel can be set up to function autonomously with minimal servicing aside from occasional disinfectant refills. It can be useful for a disinfection tunnel in an airport or other facilities with a high audience and luggage traffic. In other words, it is a reliable, effective, safe, and convenient sanitation solution that can be used in areas with dense populations.
Hand Hygiene: Physical and Behavioral Aspects
Hand washing is among the most widely available and familiar sanitation measures. Yet, counter-intuitively, it remains a surprisingly difficult habit to maintain, even during an ongoing pandemic. First, people may not even know how to perform the procedure correctly. Second, and perhaps more importantly, not everyone remembers to do it frequently enough. In crowded areas, this may lead to a rapid spread of infection through numerous high-touch surfaces:
So, to understand how to prevent the spread of infection, we need to consider both physical and behavioral aspect of the problem. To address the former, a fog disinfection channel may be equipped with an additional dispenser for hand sanitation along with visual cues on washing techniques. Not only that, it can be configured to issue reminders or even require proper handwashing for access. In other words, it can promote healthy behaviors and thus contribute to the safety culture within the organization.
Preventing the Infection with Respiratory Etiquette
The properties of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including its possible asymptomatic nature, call for changes that go beyond conventional healthcare measures. The answer to how to prevent the spread of infection lies partially in the realm of social engineering. For instance, the policy of mandatory mask-wearing has been met with considerable resistance from the public, rendering the prevention effort ineffective. On top of that, many conventional habits like sneezing and coughing without endangering others are incredibly difficult to develop and control.
This problem can also be partially addressed via a disinfection tunnel. The best example is the mask recognition technology integrated into some of the advanced models. Upon detecting the approaching person, the sensors will scan their face for the presence of the mask. If the mask is not detected, an auditory warning will be issued, which can help to promote safe behavior in crowded places. Some tunnels can also prevent people without masks from entering the premises, which can be valuable for settings where public safety is critical.
As can be seen, the disinfection tunnel is a fully-featured anti-epidemic machine that supports its sanitation measures with relevant social engineering techniques and promotes health and safety on several levels. In addition to efficient sanitation procedures, it encourages healthy behaviors, allows for seamless operation in high-traffic areas, and is easy and convenient both for attendants and staff. In this light, it might become a powerful solution to stopping the spread of the virus.