The importance of low-cost air sanitation devices in the fight against Covid-19 and pandemics

Posted on: 24/03/2021

Air sanitation devices reduce viral load in the air and have the potential to limit the spread of Covid-19 and future pandemics. A not-for-profit group with effective and low-cost air-sanitiser designs is requesting support from experts who can accelerate testing, development and raise awareness of the need for air-sanitation in the fight against Covid-19 and future pandemics.

CoV-Eng is a not-for-profit group of volunteers that came together at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The team focused early on to procure PPE from abroad to support local care organisations. In doing so, CoV-Eng became aware of other opportunities to reduce the risk of virus transmission becoming particularly interested in the potential of HEPA filtration and UVC technology for air sanitation. Cov-ENG has released a document to showcase their work.

KTN has been supporting this project through the work of Professor Mehdi Tavakoli, KTM for Health.

This document provides information to those working to reduce the spread and impact of Covid-19 and future pandemics on the progress and lessons learned by not-for-profit volunteer group ‘CoV-Eng’ in the research and development of sanitation devices intended to reduce viral load in the air.

Cov-ENG’s work is driven by the belief that:

  • airborne transmission is a major pathway for spreading COVID-19
  • simple and effective technology exists that can reduce viral load in the air
  • highly effective air sanitation devices can and should be produced at low-cost to tackle current and future pandemics.

The Cov-ENG team has developed two devices:

  • Device 1 uses HEPA (H13 filter – fan mass flow rate c5000 ㎥/h)
  • Device 2 uses UVC (2mJ/cm2 UVC dose – device mass flow rate c760 ㎥/h)

Cov-ENG’s current opinion on the use of these technologies to combat Covid-19 is that:

  • both HEPA and UVC air sanitation methods are expected to be effective at reducing viral load in the air
  • the nature of UVC technology means observational studies and direct testing would be beneficial to prove efficacy beyond doubt
  • HEPA filtration by comparison is simpler to test, efficacy is more widely accepted and as such represents a more readily available method for reducing viral load.

You can read about their work in full here.

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