Indian scientists claim to have discovered a new face mask with a germicidal fabric that can kill the coronavirus within three minutes, a media report said on Friday, a development which could hold far-reaching significance in the global battle against the pandemic.
“A team of researchers from the Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine, inStem, Bengaluru, has developed a germicidal fabric called G-fab,” the digital news site Federal reported. “The novel material is effective in deactivating enveloped viruses (to which the current coronavirus belongs) and bacteria upon contact with it.”
Along with frequent washing of hands, face masks are considered the most effective means for avoiding the coronavirus which has killed nearly one millions people globally out 32.5 million infected people. In India alone, more than 92,500 people had died in the pandemic out of 5.8 million corona positive people.
A Tamil Nadu-based company has started manufacturing the face masks under the brand name G99+ and priced Rs 249 each. The washable masks come with an optional filter which costs Rs 50 each, the report added.
“We have developed novel molecules that can deactivate viruses and bacteria upon contact. The molecules are covalently attached to the fibres of cotton fabric. This makes the fabric antimicrobial,” the report quoted Dr Praveen Vemula, lead scientist of the project, as saying. “Dr Vemula is an innovator and entrepreneur at inStem and is instrumental in translating many research studies into commercial products in India, the USA and France,” it added.
The report said that the reusable mask comprises three layers: the outer two layers which are are germicidal, and the innermost made of cotton. The mask includes a slit between the three layers for an add-on filter. “The wearer has the option of using the insert for additional protection in dense atmospheres like malls or crowded areas,” the report said.
The report added that the mask have “passed all necessary regulatory and testing procedures”.
“The team has demonstrated the efficacy of the germicidal fabric in killing a broad spectrum of bacteria (gram-positive and gram-negative) and viruses such as lentivirus, Sendi virus, coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, and human influenza viruses (H1N1),” the report added.
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