MANILA, Philippines – With the continued shortage of personal protective equipment (PPEs), masks, and other safety materials against COVID-19, a lot of people are forced to reuse and recycle equipment that are supposed to be disposable! This is especially alarming in the hospital setting, particularly in medical facilities handling patients who tested positive of the virus.
Knowing how dangerous that can be, University of the Philippines (UP) engineers have found a way to help our frontliners by designing a special UV cabinet for disinfecting hospital gowns.
In a post on Facebook, Atty. James Biron took a dig at people who often call out UP for constantly staging rallies. While people see UP in that manner, Biron points out that the people in UP are actually finding a way to help create solutions to fight COVID-19.
UP has already come up with testing kits and prototype ventilators. But seeing that many hospitals are recycling and reusing their PPEs and masks because there’s really very little available in the market, UP engineers built the UV cabinets.
Formally called as UV Disinfection Units, the units were designed for disinfecting critical personal protective equipment (PPE) such as hospital gowns using ultraviolet (UV) light. Thanks to these brilliant UP engineers headed by Prof. Jun Ballesteros, a number of hospitals will benefit from these machines.
Biron wrote on Facebook:
Others: UP puro kayo rally!
UP: Busy finding solutions to fight COVID-19 such as testing kits, prototype ventilators and now these UV Disinfection Units. These units were designed for disinfecting hospital gowns, a critical personal protective equipment (PPE), via ultraviolet (UV) light.
They check the output by passing through black light. If bodily fluids are still present in hospital gowns, it indicates presence of bacteria and potentially the dreaded corona virus.
This device will allow hospital gowns to be safely re-used by medical personnel. This will address the problem of scarce supply of PPE.
Photos from my friend Prof. Jun Ballesteros of the University of the Philippines – Diliman, College of Engineering. Prof. Jun and his students will be distributing 12 units initially to government hospitals in Quezon City. It’s for free.
A lot of netizens agreed with Biron. Many thanked the brilliant UP professors and students for finding ways to help amid the COVID-19 crisis.
“Kahit sinong matino ang pag iisip hindi talaga maniwala na ang mga taga UP puro rally lang alam. Nasa UP po ang maraming the best and the brightest,” one netizen wrote.
“Ganyan dapat ang kabataan ang pag asa ng bayan. Tularan nila sana kayo di puru rally,” another agreed.
Kudos to these UP engineers!
(This was originally posted on The Summit Express website on April 6, 2020)