‘Germicidal Chamber’ Developed by Southern Naval Command To Arrest COVID Transmission

The Naval Institute of Aeronautical Technology (NIAT), under the Southern Naval Command (SNC) at Kochi, has designed and fabricated low-cost Germicidal chambers for arresting the likelihood of secondary mode of transmission through contaminated surfaces used by COVID-19 infected personnel.

The chambers have been customized for sanitizing personal baggage, office files, personal protective items (masks, gloves, helmets) and electronic items (phones, laptops, chargers) by inactivating microorganisms such as Bacteria, Virus, Molds, and other Pathogens.

Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) is a disinfection method that uses short-wavelength ultraviolet (UV-C) light to kill or inactivate microorganisms by destroying nucleic acids and disrupting their DNA. The optimal wavelength for disinfection is in the range of 190-280 nm (UV-C). The required dosage of UV-C was formulated using in-house resources based on the study conducted by the Institute of Virology, Germany.   

The customized multipurpose germicidal chamber has the specialty of adjusting the exposure time (operating time) from 10 seconds to 40 minutes with an auto cut-off system and has an inbuilt safety mechanism to prevent untoward exposure of UV-C rays. The design has incorporated inbuilt safety features to avoid direct exposure of UV-C rays during the process of sanitization.

The Germicidal chamber was subjected to multiple sanitization tests at the microbiology lab in INHS Sanjivani to prove its effectiveness and has successfully sterilized colony of E-coli bacteria, strain of bacterial swabs and has disinfected urine samples. 

These multipurpose chambers are built at one-tenth (approx. Rs 25,000-30,000) of the cost of commercially available units and can serve as an effective tool against contamination or infection from the secondary mode of transmission.