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Health News Sat, 1 Aug 2020

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Coronavirus: University of Ghana, SOFT develops chlorine disinfectant to aid fight

SOFT Chlorine The Laboratory Technicians Preparing The Chlorine Solution For SOFT The laboratory technicians preparing the chlorine solution

The Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Ghana has developed chlorine disinfectant for use in the fight against COVID-19.

Following a partnership agreement, indigenous transport firm, S.O Frimpong Transport Company (SOFT) would use the substance to disinfect the company’s vehicles to protect staff and passengers from the disease.

The Department, has therefore, prepared three per cent chlorine into 1,500 litres of water to form a three percent chlorine solution for the company and secured polytanks for disinfection purposes.

Mr Nicholas Sowah, a Senior Technologist of the Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, explained that chlorine kills pathogens such as bacteria and viruses by breaking the chemical bonds in their molecules.

He noted that chlorine solution was, thus, a remedy for disinfecting households, premises, vehicles, and enclosed spaces, although it was underutilised for industrial use in Ghana and less expensive as compared to the use of alcohol and ethanol for disinfection and sanitising.

“For a company like SOFT, relying on the innovation of using chlorine disinfectant in the fight against the COVID-19, is the best decision. It is cost effective for a company that have several fleet of vehicles to disinfecting this COVID-19 season,” he added.

Mr Sowah said the chlorine solution was environmentally friendly, not harmful to humans and animals. It was prepared through laboratory safety standards and procedures.

The solution, which is stored in a secured polytank, is expected to last for more than six months, depending on the frequency of use. Without contamination, its efficacy to fight pathogens never reduces.

He lauded the collaboration between Biochemistry Department and SOFT, saying “it creates the environment for more innovations.”

Chief Executive Officer of SOFT, Randolph Obeng Frimpong said the company’s fleet of buses, trailers, tankers and offices could be exposed to the COVID-19, hence, management’s decision to introduce chlorine in the fight against the virus.

“We thought about the risk of exposure and partnered with UG’s Department of Biochemistry to introduce this sustainable method of disinfecting our buses and premises as well. This partnership will go a long way to strengthen the relationship between academia and industry, and we hope to have more fruitful collaborations with the university,” he noted.

Source: Ghanaian Times

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