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The Second Wave of COVID-19: The How, the Why and What Can Be Done

Posted on April 1, 2021 The Second Wave of COVID-19: The How, the Why and What Can Be Done

The surge in the number of COVID-19 cases has gone “from bad to worse”, said member (health) of the NITI Aayog V.K. Paul on Tuesday as India registered 56,211 new cases in the last 24 hours. Dr Paul said 10 districts across India including Pune (59,475), Mumbai (46,248), Nagpur (45,322), Thane (35,264), Nashik (26,553), Aurangabad (21,282) and Bengaluru Urban (16,259) currently have the highest active COVID caseload. The cases include 855 cases from virus variants.

Speaking at a press conference, Dr. Paul noted that the country is facing an increasingly severe and intensive situation in some districts but the whole country is potentially at risk. “All efforts to contain the virus and save lives should be taken as most of the cases are asymptomatic,” he said. He also added that with the offices, schools and malls being re-opened again, the chances of contamination is at its peak and it is very much important to maintain a healthy Indoor Air Quality to avoid such contaminations.

Besides, more than 200 cases of a double mutant (E484Q + L452R) virus, which means a combination of two mutations in one variant, has also been detected in Maharashtra, Delhi, Punjab, some other parts of the country. The E484Q mutation is capable of escaping body’s immunity and L452R mutation has greater infectivity. As research continues on the impact of these new mutations, the treatment protocol of those testing positive has not been changed.

What is causing this second wave in India?

covid-19

Scientists are yet to confirm if these new variants are a reason for the second wave that India is now seeing. But experts are unanimous that people’s complacency and deviation from COVID-appropriate behaviour are important reasons for this new spike. When the number of positive cases was on a decline till mid-February, experts put forward several theories, with some believing that the decline was because a major chunk of the Indian population had already been exposed to the virus, had asymptomatic COVID, and have recovered, resulting in their developing antibodies against the virus.

covid-19 tracker

The current spike in number of cases is also necessitating increasing hospitalizations across the country. Dr Himanshu Reddy, in-charge of, COVID facility, King George Medical College, Lucknow, says that till 10-15 days back there were less than 10 patients admitted at a time in the facility. But there are now over 40 patients. “COVID-care has improved a lot compared to last year and they are more confident of handling severe cases, but the fact that this virus is highly transmissible, and spreads rapidly worries us,” adds Dr Himanshu. “A massive number of cases can overwhelm any healthcare system. We must avoid that situation”.

A recent study from the Queen Mary University of London and Leeds Beckett University has shown that UVGI Air Purification which is already being used to prevent the spread of other airborne diseases in buildings, has the potential to be effective against COVID-19. The research, published in the journal Peer, found that UV germicidal irradiation (UVGI) in offices can kill SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, which can be transmitted by aerosolised droplets that float in the air. It is now becoming widely accepted that transmission of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles through tiny respiratory droplets, is one of the main ways COVID-19 spreads between people in offices and other premises. The risk of airborne transmission is especially high in poorly ventilated buildings and there is an urgent need for technologies to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within these spaces. ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers) also recommends that office and commercial building managers and owners consider UVGI (ultraviolet germicidal irradiation) to minimize the risk of a second wave.

UVGI To the Rescue

UVGI system

Ultraviolet (UV) germicidal lights produce short wavelength light (or radiation) that can damage the genetic material in the nucleus of cells of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and moulds. The cells may be killed or made unable to reproduce. With extended exposure, UV germicidal irradiation (UVGI) can also break down the particles that have deposited on an irradiated surface. Plastics, human skin, and eyes can also be damaged by UV light. Alfaa UV’s UVGI systems are designed with the purpose to kill or deactivate the bacteria and viruses within small airborne particles that sometimes cause infectious diseases.

Alfaa UV’s UltraCoil and UltraDuct UVGI systems can also be installed in the ducts of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and irradiate the small airborne particles containing microorganisms as the air flows through the ducts. Often, UVGI systems in ducts also direct UV light at the cooling coils and drain pans of air conditioning systems. Irradiating the cooling coils and drain pans can dramatically reduce mould and bacteria growth on the often-wet surfaces of cooling coils and drain pans, or destroy the microbial films that previously accumulated on the irradiated surfaces. Much of the research on the health benefits of UVGI has been performed in health care settings such as hospitals, including tuberculosis wards in hospitals. Other study sites have included barracks, schools, offices, and homes.

Benefits of Alfaa UVGI for HVAC ducts  and coils

  • Elimination of pathogens – UVGI in HVAC systems can help eliminate up to 99.9% of viruses and kills up to 90% of certain airborne bacteria passing through the air system, including Coronaviruses.
  • IAQ– by improving the airflow and eliminating organic material, as shown above, UVGI will improve the indoor air quality (IAQ), by reducing both odours and pathogens.  As a result, since we are talking about cleaning your office’s air, this will lead to better productivity, higher levels of comfort, and fewer sick days. During COVID-19, it spells the difference between cross-contamination and substantially reduced infections in air-conditioned spaces.
  • Economic impact– this means less energy consumption as well as paying less for that same energy and, of course, a smaller carbon footprint.
  • Third-party validation – Highly recommended by credible organizations like the US Government and the Air Institute of Respiratory Education, for killing microbes and improving Indoor Air Quality.

Click on the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wym12UHX1Fk  to see UVGI in Asia’s largest HVAC installation is helping to fight COVID-19 in the healthcare sector. The UltraCoil & UltraDuct UVGI system not only fights viruses to create safer spaces but also ensures cleaner cooling coils, resulting in greater efficiency and lower running and maintenance costs. You may contact us on 9833516650 / 8879336026 or Visit us here.

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