Pakistani engineers develop anti-bacterial wipes to help protect from coronavirus

Published: March 22, 2020
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Wet tissues can be used to clean mobile phone, purse, keys and pens. PHOTO: EXPRESS/ALTAF HUSSAIN VIRK

Wet tissues can be used to clean mobile phone, purse, keys and pens. PHOTO: EXPRESS/ALTAF HUSSAIN VIRK

LAHORE  : The Punjab University’s chemical engineers have developed anti-bacterial disposable wipes and sanitiser on a par with the standards of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to help protect people from coronavirus.

Addressing a press briefing on Sunday, Punjab University (PU) Vice Chancellor Prof Niaz Akhter said people were ignoring many things which could be a source of spreading coronavirus such as mobile phones, purses, keys, pens, door handles, stair railings, ATMs and public washrooms.

“We have decided to develop anti-bacterial disposable wipes to be used on such things to avoid contracting coronavirus,” he said
He was flanked by PU Department of Polymer Engineering and Technology’s Associate Professors Dr Bilal Haider, Dr Atif Islam and Assistant Professor Dr Areeba Farooq. The vice chancellor said he had instructed PU’s chemical engineers to develop anti-bacterial sanitisers.

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“We are also worried about TV cameramen who are visiting hospitals and other places for the coverage of coronavirus-related issues and this disposable wipe can also be used on camera and other equipment.”

He said all the people of Pakistan must act wisely and behave like responsible citizens to avoid the spread of coronavirus. “The Punjab University is playing its role to cope with this challenge and in this regard, PU scientists, faculty members, researchers, professionals and volunteer students are making concerted efforts,” he asserted.

He said the PU had established diagnostic centres, developed diagnostic kits and antibacterial sanitisers, set up a telemedicine centre and launched an awareness campaign to serve the community.

Briefing the media about the products, Dr Haider, Dr Islam and Dr Farooq explained that the ingredients recommended by the WHO, including ethanol, hydrogen peroxide, glycerine, neem and aloe vera extract, and fragrance have been used in the sanitiser. They said the material used by the researchers was safe for the skin.

They said the sanitiser could be applied on various surfaces to help protect people sharing them from coronavirus. They appealed to the government to provide basic ingredients so that they could produce disposable wipes and sanitisers in bulk quantity.

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