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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Scientists develop ‘check it in the air’ device to detect coronavirus

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In a major breakthrough the scientists have prepared a unique device to protect against the danger of coronavirus, which became synonymous with terror for human life all over the world, which will not only identify the virus, but will also warn and save people from its havoc.

While sharing details of ‘Corona Detector’ developed by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, USA, renowned microbiologist and Vice-Chancellor of Shobhit University in Meerut Prof Amar Prakash Garg, said that the newly developed device will not only detect and trap airborne coronavirus effectively but also issue timely warnings to protect against its ravages.

Prof Garg, who had collaborated with scientists in Germany, England, Japan, Switzerland and the Czech Republic, Rajn Chakravarti, an Indian-origin researcher leading the project at Washington University, has been working relentlessly for nearly three years to produce the SARS CoV-2 Detector.

He said, “The compact device which is about the size of a toaster is capable of drawing in approximately a thousand liters of air per minute. Using a rapid and sensitive whirlwind mechanism inside the device, the corona virus is captured and confined in the device.”

The Vice-Chancellor explained that when the trapped corona virus comes into contact with an electrode connected to a nano-body biosensor, it oxidises and disintegrates. “Another instrument linked to the electrode immediately detects the resulting electrical spike, signalling the presence of the virus in the air,” he said.

He said that as per the initial discussion on the application of the device in schools and offices, it is currently deemed impractical for continuous use as it emits a sound similar to a mobile phone’s buzzer. However, he suggested that periodically deploying the detector for about 10 minutes in public spaces could be highly effective.

The cost of the Corona Detector, priced at approximately 1,600 dollars (approximately Rs 1,31,000) , enables its potential deployment in hospitals, airports and other public places for virus surveillance.

Dr Garg proposes that the timely identification of the virus in the air could bolster ventilation systems, air conditioning, or thermal communication, ultimately safeguarding people from transmission. “Efforts are being made to modify the device to detect other respiratory viruses such as influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

He said that the ground breaking research holds the promise of transforming how societies protect against airborne viral threats.

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