Startups fight COVID-19: Gurugram-based startup innovates air purifier to neutralise coronavirus
In the last week, India reported 22.49 lakh COVID-19 cases - the highest number of cases reported by any country in any seven-day period since the beginning of the pandemic. On Sunday, the country had 3.55 lakh cases and 2,8067 cases.
The resurgence of the virus has put immense pressure on India’s healthcare system – choked hospitals are reeling under the shortage of oxygen and medicines, and the prices of oxygen cylinders, concentrators, and essential medicines has shot up on the black market. With experts saying that India’s mammoth second wave is yet to peak, preventive measures have taken the spotlight.
Gurugram-based startup O2 Cure is offering its own weapon in the COVID-19 fight: an air purification device named Plug & Play that claims to neutralise the COVID-19 virus.
The active air purifier uses advanced technology to purify and treat microbials in an area up to 500 sq ft. The company claims the device can “effectively neutralise coronavirus by 99.9 percent from air and surfaces” at homes, offices, gyms, and more.
The air purification brand is owned and operated by Gurugram-based Zeco Aircon, a manufacturer of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) management systems since 1989. Founded by Ravi Singhal, Zeco Aircon manufactures products under four verticals — air conditioning, air purification, air distribution, and insulation.
Kartik Singhal, Director, Zeco Aircon, joined his father’s business in 2013 as a trainee engineer and started O2 Cure in January 2020.
Why air purifiers?
The SARS-CoV-2 virus is mainly spread through respiratory droplets expelled when an infected person talks, coughs, sneezes, or breathes. These can linger in the air and be breathed in by others, spreading infection.
O2Cure claims its products are designed with RGF-patented PHI technology, which has also been tested and proven to neutralise active SARS-CoV-2 virus by 97.48 percent at 15 minutes of activation of PHI Cell on surfaces.
The founder believes that the COVID-19 surge is the time to make the switch to air purifiers as part of the prevention programme.
“From disinfecting sprays to face masks and even touchless garbage cans, there’s no shortage of 'essential products' being pushed in the fight against COVID-19. One additional item that people should be adding to their arsenal is an air purifier as the coronavirus is not going anywhere anytime soon,” Kartik says. “It is really important to stay cautious till everyone is vaccinated.”
The purifier’s technology has been successfully tested by CCMB-CSIR virology lab in India for reduction of SARS-CoV 2 by 97.48 percent and by Innovation Bio-Analysis lab in the US for reduction of the virus by 99 percent from air and surfaces.
The company also offers other products to weed out air contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, germs, gases, particles, dust, pollen, and other hazardous pathogens.
Working with hospitals
Kartik offers advice on what to look for while buying an air purifier: a pre-filter to filter out PM10 particles, HEPA filter, activated carbon filter, and clean air delivery rate (CADR). “A good purifier not only neutralises the COVID-19 virus but also makes the air cleaner,” he adds.
“We believe our purifier, priced at Rs 41,999, is one of the most competent products to eliminate the threat against respiratory diseases and cross-infections in indoor spaces,” he says.
Apart from selling via its own website, offline distributors, and ecommerce marketplaces, O2 Cure also works with hospitals.
It has installed more than 200 air purifiers in the COVID wards of hospitals, including Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Lilavati Hospital, Nanavati Hospital, and Medicity Hospital.
In February this year, O2Cure announced a collaboration with actor, entrepreneur, and fitness enthusiast Suneil Shetty. “Unlike other air purifier brands in the market, these products are really helpful in not only controlling airborne diseases but also neutralising the novel coronavirus up to 99 percent,” Suneil said.