Published on April 3, 2020

AHMEDABAD: With the Covid-19 epidemic, the first thing one has to do wherever they go is to sanitize hands with an alcohol-based solution. While the lockdown has resulted in a severe cut in social visits, even for doctors this is painful, with complaints of drying skin.

What about a sanitizer that can kill germs without the side effects of an alcohol rub? This was the idea in the pipeline for some time at the Department of Life Sciences, Gujarat University (GU), primarily for lab technicians who wear latex gloves or use isopropyl alcohol.

Prof Rakesh Rawal of GU said that when the idea was at a nascent stage, the Covid-19 outbreak took place. “The early idea was to remove bacteria and thus the base was plasma. Now as we have to consider viruses, we added two more components which would pass through plasma and create a mist,” said Prof Rawal. “At smaller scale, it can be installed like a hand drier or at a larger scale, it can be installed like a doorframe for overall sanitization of a person or object.”

The innovation by the team led by Prof Rawal is one of four sanctioned by the Gujarat University Start-up and Entrepreneurship Council (GUSEC) as part of its ‘Breakthrough Accelerator.’

Rahul Bhagchandani, group CEO at GUSEC, said ideas to combat the outbreak are pouring in and a platform was needed to channelize the efforts.

“Under the initiative, we invited ideas related to Covid-19 for incubation and support before April 12. The second round deadline is April 22. We are getting support from multiple sources such as UNICEF, SSIP, TBI, TIDE and so on,” he said.

Prof Himanshu Pandya, V-C of GU, said that through the Breakthrough Accelerator, they are leading a collaborative effort for implementable solutions for detection, assessment, containment and treatment of Covid-19.

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