Science-Technology, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Turkish firm pioneers disinfection against COVID-19

R&D firm repurposes hotel equipment into powerful disinfection tool amid worldwide coronavirus pandemic

Havva Dereagzi   | 23.03.2020
Turkish firm pioneers disinfection against COVID-19

KONYA, Turkey

A Turkish research and development firm has developed a disinfectant device to aid in the fight against coronavirus.

The company, Plast Grup, transformed a shower system it developed for hotel use into a disinfectant device amid the outbreak, which began late last year.

“We made some changes to our existing product to help people fight the pandemic,” said Mustafa Bozkurt, owner of the company based in Konya, central Turkey.

Healthy disinfection can be done with the converted device using few materials, he said, adding that it can disinfect 500 people with just 100 liters of disinfectant.

The device, called Ikarus, has an antibacterial and corrosion-resistant composite body, he said.

Optional features of the device are a 360-degree swivel base, fingerprint reading, self-cleaning with ultraviolet, a camera, photography support, and body temperature detection with thermal camera, he added.

The device can be placed in crowded places such as entrances to shopping malls, government offices, hospitals, schools, and places of worship.

'More civilized

Bozkurt said he was distressed to see a news report of airplane passengers abroad being disinfected in a demeaning way and could not bear to see the same in Turkey.

The Ikarus device disinfects in a more civilized and aesthetic way, he said.

Bozkurt also said that in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, they lowered the device’s price as a public duty.

"We reduced the price of Ikarus, which is $10,000, by 40%. We’re work to repay our citizenship debt and contribute to our country."

Other countries are also interested in the device, he said, adding: "We're in talks with the U.K. on exports, there are requests from France to be distributors, and Libya wants eight. Our negotiations are going on but our priority is our own country."

The device’s software is indigenous and the firm has a patent, he said.

The virus, which emerged in Wuhan, China last December, has spread to at least 168 countries and regions around the globe, with over 360,000 confirmed cases and over 15,000 deaths, according to data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

So far, 30 people have died of the virus in Turkey, with 1,236 cases confirmed.

China, Italy, Iran, and Spain continue to be the countries hardest hit.

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