Coronavirus: IIT designs device to sanitise grocery items, currency notes

IIT-Ropar has designed a 'sanitising' device based on ultraviolet germicidal irradiation technology. It can be used to sanitise currency notes, vegetables, milk packets, items ordered through delivery, wallets, and mobile phones.
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The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) has developed a trunk-shaped device fitted with ultraviolet germicidal irradiation technology, which they recommend be placed at doorsteps and all items brought from outside including grocery and currency notes be put in it to sanitise them and aid the fight against COVID-19.

According to the team at IIT-Ropar, the trunk, when commercialised, can be available at less than Rs 500. The device will take 30 minutes to sanitise the items, and the team has recommended a 10-minute cooling-off period before one takes the items out.

"The fight against the coronavirus pandemic will not end just with social distancing and not stepping out. In the coming days and weeks, it will be extremely important to be cautious with everything possible. We have developed a device that looks like any trunk in our home, and we recommend it be placed at doorsteps or may be somewhere closer to the entry.

"Right now there are many who wash vegetables with warm water before using but the same cannot be done with currency notes or wallets. So, we have developed a common sanitising solution for everything," Naresh Rakha, Senior Scientific Officer at IIT Ropar, told PTI.

The team recommends that all items coming from outside, including currency notes, vegetables, milk packets, any items ordered through delivery, wrist watch, wallets, mobile phones or any documents, be placed in the trunk before being used.

"The device is based on ultraviolet germicidal irradiation technology used in water purifiers. We strongly advise not to look directly at the light inside the trunk as it can be harmful," Rakha said.

According to the Union Health Ministry, the death toll due to the novel coronavirus rose to 199 and the number of cases to 6,412 in the country on Friday,

While the number of active COVID-19 cases is 5,709, as many as 503 people were cured and discharged and one had migrated, it said. The ministry said at least 30 new deaths have been reported since Thursday evening.

(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)