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As India Opens Up, Can UVGI Solution Prevent COVID Attacks in Future?

Posted on October 27, 2021 As India Opens Up, Can UVGI Solution Prevent COVID Attacks in Future?

The COVID-19 vaccines have slowly enabled the country to reopen and return to normal.  As India races past the 100 crore mark in COVID-19 vaccination, the vaccination drive proves to be most successful in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. India witnessed 13,058 new Coronavirus infections, the lowest in 231 days, taking its overall COVID-19 tally to 3,40,94,373, according to data from the Union Health Ministry on 18th October 2021. Kerala and Maharashtra accounted for nearly 63 percent of active cases in the country. The recovery rate is currently at 98.12 percent; the highest since March 2020.

With 164 fresh fatalities, the death toll climbed to 4,52,454, while the active cases have declined to 1,83,118, the lowest in 227 days. The daily rise in new cases has been below 30,000 for 25 straight days and less than 50,000 for 114 consecutive days now. According to the Health Ministry, the active cases now comprise 0.54% of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate improved to 98.14%, the highest since March 2020.

COVID DAILY UPDATE

The COVID-19 in India is under control. New infections and deaths linked to coronavirus infections have declined sharply. The COVID-19 cases in India are plunging, the pace of vaccination is picking up, collectively managed to drive up the positive sentiment in the market and in the corporate world too.

Fear of a Third Wave?

With cases diving, businesses are gearing up with full force to call employees back to the workplace. Various state governments have now decided to reopen schools. States and union territories (UTs) are further easing their existing restrictions and allowing the reopening of religious places and educational institutions including schools and colleges. With the increasing vaccination coverage across the globe and the changing nature of the pandemic, the existing guidelines for traveling in India have been relaxed. However, the fear of the third wave still persists due to the widespread opening up of offices, schools, and organizations and new mutations discoveries.  Despite a decrease in new infections, Indian health experts are warning of a likely third COVID wave. Centre lists our major reasons why the third wave of COVID may appear.

The third wave of coronavirus may occur because of mutations in the killer virus. All viruses – including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 – evolve over time. When a virus replicates or makes copies of itself, it sometimes changes a little bit, which is normal for a virus. These changes are called mutations. When a virus is widely circulating in a population and causing many infections, the likelihood of the virus mutating increases. The more opportunities a virus has to spread, the more it replicates – and the more opportunities it has to undergo changes.  Secondly, children below the age group of 18 years are unvaccinated and with schools reopening, the threat for a third wave rises. There are 472 million children in India under the age of 18 years, representing 39% of the country’s total population. A large percentage, 29% of that figure constitute children between the ages of 0 to 6 years. Furthermore, there’s still a wide percentage of people who remain partially unvaccinated and some are fully unvaccinated due to the short supply of vaccines, some because of their own will. About 75 percent of India’s total eligible adult population has received at least one dose, while nearly 30 percent of people are fully immunized.

There is consistent, strong evidence to prove that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, behind the COVID-19 pandemic, is predominantly transmitted through the air, according to an assessment published in The Lancet journal and many other ongoing research studies. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how easily and quickly airborne viruses and other microbes can spread among occupants in offices, education centers, healthcare, hotels, manufacturing, and similar other indoor environments. As a result, facility managers, building owners, school administrations, and HVAC engineers need to find reliable and cost-effective ways to protect building occupants and avoid future business disruption.

Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) is a proven and effective tool to fight against infectious aerosols in buildings. The CDC, ASHRAE, and OSHA recommend a layered approach that includes UVGI air disinfection to protect occupants from infectious aerosols. Studies show that UV light, especially in the UVC range, destroys SARS-CoV-2 viruses.

UV LIGHT

Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) disinfection works by inactivating the genetic information, which works with the original viruses as well as with newly emerging mutations. In addition, these viruses cannot develop any resistance to UV light.

How can Airborne Transmission of Pathogens Indoors Be Minimized?

AIRBORNE TRANSMISSION

During the rapid rise in COVID-19 illnesses and deaths globally, questions were voiced about routes of transmission for this pandemic disease. Inhaling small airborne droplets is probable as a third route of infection, in addition to more widely recognized transmission via larger respiratory droplets and direct contact with infected people or contaminated surfaces.

It spreads more easily between people indoors than outdoors. Even a light breeze can dilute and disperse viral particles outside, but when we are indoors, we must pay close attention to the amount of fresh air entering the space. Clean air circulation is critical for diluting any coronavirus present and preventing it from spreading between people. When people are inside for long durations and are devoid of masks, air circulation is especially important (for example, to eat). That includes workplaces, stores, and restaurants, as well as settings like shelters or long-term care facilities, and schools and childcare buildings.

AIRBORNE TRANSMISSION VIA HVAC SYSTEMS

Appropriate building engineering helps to reduce infection risk indoors. These controls include sufficient and effective ventilation, possibly enhanced by particle filtration and air disinfection, avoiding air recirculation and avoiding overcrowding.

The use of engineering controls in public buildings, including hospitals, shops, offices, schools, kindergartens, libraries, restaurants, cruise ships, elevators, conference rooms, or public transport, in parallel with the effective application of other controls (including isolation and quarantine, social distancing and hand hygiene), would be an additional important measure globally to reduce the likelihood of transmission and thereby protect healthcare workers, patients, and the general public.

In a mechanically ventilated building, ventilation air is typically provided by a heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.  HVAC system control strategies can usually be modified to increase ventilation to a certain extent in the occupied zones, with relatively little additional cost, to reduce the risks of airborne transmission between occupants.

UVGI for HVAC systems is a disinfection method that uses short-wavelength ultraviolet light to kill or inactivate microorganisms by destroying nucleic acids and disrupting their DNA, leaving them unable to perform vital cellular functions. UVGI refers to ultraviolet light with wavelengths between 200 – 280 nanometers (nm).  UVGI for HVAC systems utilize Germicidal lamps to sterilize workspaces and tools used in pharmaceutical manufacturing, food production facilities, and other production facilities. This method of disinfection uses short-wavelength ultraviolet light to kill or inactivate microorganisms, leaving them unable to perform vital functions. Germicidal lamps are used to sterilize workspaces and tools used in biology laboratories and medical facilities.

UVGI FOR HVAC SYSTEMS

Types of UVGI Systems and Applications

The various types of UVGI systems may have different design and testing requirements. Figure 1 shows a breakdown of the most common types of UVGI systems used today. Each of these systems will of necessity require some degree of separate consideration in terms of performance and testing standards.

Types of UVGI systems

 

Figure 1: Breakdown of the most common UVGI system types.

(uvsolutionsmag.com)

In addition to the types of UVGI systems, the variety of UVGI applications necessitates some variation in performance requirements. UVGI systems installed in commercial office buildings for biodefense will probably have different requirements than those installed in hospitals for infection control, or those installed in homes for allergen control. Some systems may serve a dual purpose, disinfecting both the air stream and the internal Air Handling Unit (AHU) surfaces.

UVGI systems find increasing varieties of applications as a     result of potential airborne disease threats including emerging diseases like SARS virus, the continued threat of species-jumping diseases like avian flu, the ever-present problem of indoor mold growth coupled with increased incidence of asthma and allergies, the recognition of airborne vectors in food pathogens, and the threat of bioterrorism. Table 1 provides a summary of where UVGI systems are applied today and what types of systems are typically used. The mold growth control systems referred to are often used for controlling microbial growth on cooling coils and air handling unit components.

 

      Table 1: UVGI Applications and System Types

types of uvgi systems( uvsolutionsmag.com)

Improving the IAQ in Commercial Spaces with UVGI

commercial space

Improving the quality of the indoor air in your commercial building is more important than ever before.  Many building managers and owners are considering UVGI as an option UV light ensures efficient disinfection of viruses, bacteria, germs, and dangerous microbes, rendering them harmless long after the current pandemic. UV disinfection of room air and surfaces is a solution for protection against the inevitable next wave of flu, pneumonia, RSV, etc., as well as future unknown viruses and their mutations. UV disinfection will continue to fight against coronaviruses, their variants and mutations, influenza viruses, and other germs on surfaces as well as aerosols in the air. Therefore UVGI is a strong precautionary measure against not only COVID but also the common cold, measles, flu, tuberculosis, and various other airborne diseases that may lead to sickness, death. This in turn helps to reduce absenteeism and loss of business revenue every year. . Aside from proper ventilation and enhanced HVAC filtration, here are some effective solutions for improving air quality in your commercial space:

  • UVGI Solutions: Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation is a method of disinfection that uses short-wavelength ultraviolet light (UV-C) to inactivate or kill microorganisms and pathogens. The high-output lamps deliver UVC to destroy biofilm within the HVAC coils and ductwork, preventing the growth and circulation of airborne pathogens in occupied spaces.
  • Air and Surface SterilizationPhotocatalytic oxidation eliminates harmful contaminants in the air and on surfaces.
  • Indoor Air Quality Monitoring: Installing IAQ sensors allows you to actively monitor CO2, temperature, humidity, VOCs, and particulate matter through live reporting and dashboards.
  • Air Duct Cleaning: Frequent cleaning of your space’s air ducts controls the build-up and spread of harmful pollutants in the air.
  • Custom Solutions: Our team of experts will work to identify and design a custom solution for your commercial HVAC system

Alfaa UV’s UVGI  Solutions

UVGI is primarily delivered with three systems in Offices:

  1. UVGI Duct and Coil Solutions in AHUs
  2. Mobile UV Sterilizers for Room and Surface Disinfection
  3. STERO-UP Upper Air UVGI System

A) UltraCoil & UltraDuct

Alfaa UV’s ULTRACOIL UVGI System ensures deep cleaning of coils in the safest and most eco-friendly way. There is no worry about the damaging of coils, which is highly likely with conventional chemicals and scrubbing methods. The Ultracoil with its unique Parabolic Reflector System proactively removes the bio-films (layer of slimy, sticky substance that houses the bacteria, viruses, mold, spores, etc.), thus ensuring that the air doesn’t get contaminated through the coil and drain pans. Most importantly and especially in the present pandemic, installing a proper UVGI air disinfection system in front of the coil kills such microorganisms and viruses.

Alfaa UV’s ULTRADUCT solution provides assured single pass disinfection of airborne bacteria and viruses. It is installed in supply or return ducts. The UltraDUCT also increases the life of HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) by reducing the load of live organisms.

Many notable projects and reputed brands have already installed Alfaa UV’s UltraCoil™ & UltraDuct™ UVGI air disinfection modules. To name a few they include Reliance Foundation Hospital (HN Hospital) (Mumbai), Vodafone India Head Office (Mumbai), Pepsi (Bharuch), Korum Mall (Thane), ITC Ltd. (Kolkata), Fortis Hospital (Mumbai), Gland Pharmaceuticals (Hyderabad), Jaslok Hospital (Thane), Teva Pharma (Wada), SP Infocity (Chennai), Proctor & Gamble (Mandideep), Hyatt Regency (Mumbai), Mother Dairy (Delhi), Danone Nutricia (Ambala), among others.

B) STERO-360 UV Sterilizer

With over 22+ years of expertise in UV technology, ALFAA UV has introduced STERO-360 UV Sterilizer for offices, which is an enhanced range of UV sanitizers, to help fight COVID-19 more effectively. A sterilizer that is chemical-free, powerful, and extremely convenient to use, making it the perfect choice for ensuring the safety of individuals within the mall and Food Courts.

The STERO-360 mobile UV Sterilizer machine for offices kills more than 99.99% of bacteria and viruses from any given contaminated space, within minutes. The STERO 360 – UV room sterilizer has standard dimensions to make it compact, and being portable, is easily transportable between rooms.

C) STERO-UP Upper Air UVGI System

UPPER AIR uvgi systems

Alfaa UV’s new range of disinfecting appliances, STERO-UP Upper-Air UVGI System, which involves exceptionally potent germicidal UV irradiation, has extensive coverage of the upper sections of any given room. The advanced engineered upper air purification systems can be installed just like an air conditioner, at a safe height, and aids in superior infection control using powerful UVC irradiation. With less energy consumption, no effort required for regular use, and the least time is taken to sanitize large areas, the STERO-UP is a savior to many problems at once.

To see how these UVGI systems work, watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3kWRuEem2g for more information about the process and the product. There are many reasons to choose Alfaa’s UVGI solutions for your air disinfection in Offices. To know about how we can help you create a COVID free space, call us today on 9833516650 / 8879336026 or visit us at https://www.alfaauv.com/products/ultrahvac/

 

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