AN Irish device that kills 99.999 per cent of Covid-19 in the air could help end Ireland’s lockdown, it is claimed.
Traders in Dublin’s Temple Bar want the State to trust the “proven science” behind Novaerus’ device to get businesses open.
The nation is currently under Level 5 Covid restrictions in an effort to bring the spread of the deadly virus back under control before Christmas.
Experts believe that embattled frontline staff in hospitals and schools would be better protected by an air disinfectant that kills all airborne microorganisms.
And retail and leisure businesses could be freed from the devastating “economic bungee jumping” caused by regular lockdowns.
Dublin firm Novaerus have developed a plug in device that is proven to kill 99.999 per cent of coronavirus.
The machine pulls in contaminated indoor air, destroys the virus at DNA level and returns healthy air to the room.
Temple Bar Company boss Martin Harte’s message to Government is: “Give us a chance using science and technology and Irish companies to show you we can make safe reopening work.”
Mr Harte warned: “If reopening fails, the big hedge funds and institutional investors will survive, but Dublin’s micro enterprises will be decimated.
‘A TALE OF TWO CITIES’
“We’ll have a tale of two cities where the big guy flourishes and the small guy is crushed. These measures kill creativity and crush the soul of a city and a nation.”
The Temple Bar masterplan would see businesses combine the use of the Covid-killing device with a simple door handle sanitiser and a hand-washing technique usually reserved for healthcare staff — in an Irish business-led solution.
In the Temple Bar area alone, 2,600 people have lost their jobs this year.
Bars, restaurants and hotels have lost a combined revenue of €119million since March 15.
The State has lost out on some €22million in taxes.
The street cleaners work around the clock to keep it tidy, but few visitors are there to see it.
In April, representatives met virtually with Hong Kong billionaire Allan Zeman, a film, property and fashion mogul who owns the bulk of Lan Qwai Fong, the city’s version of Temple Bar.
Mr Harte said: “He told us, this is how you reopen. Number one, track, trace and isolate everyone as they come in. Two, make mask wearing mandatory everywhere. Three, eat outdoors — pedestrianize your streets.
“Have four people maximum at a table, and make sure your air is clean. Do all that, and you can reopen.”
The search for a clean air plan led them to Novaerus.
The company’s business development boss Michael Corr says clean air is the final piece of the jigsaw after social distancing, hand-washing and surface cleansing.
‘BEST KEPT SECRET’
He said: “The device kills virus, bacteria in the air, fungi spores. It kills at DNA level, ripping them apart. The nano strike does not discriminate. We are Ireland’s best kept secret.”
The science has been independently verified in lab conditions.
Within 15 minutes, 99.99 per cent of the virus is killed — 20 minutes later it then goes up to 99.999 per cent.
Mr Corr said: “Our device will keep at it, and will get it eventually.
“Say there are four people in an office, and one person has Covid-19.
“When they breathe, large drops fall to the floor. But microscopic particles stay in the air.
“Our device is on 24/7, constantly killing the virus, significantly reducing the amount of virus in the room and decreasing your chances of getting Covid-19.”
He added: “Businesses now look at social distancing, hand sanitation and clean surfaces but very few deal with the air. It is the piece of the jigsaw that is missing.
“It’s no longer just about hands — we need to close the infection loop.
“In frontline healthcare, there is an ongoing battle with infection prevention. They are concentrating on clean surfaces, PPE.
“But they are not using technology for a virus that is hanging around in the air. If we added that, it would be a much safer environment.”
Temple Bar boss Harte says pubs and restaurants in his district will also turn to two other Irish firms — Handle Hygiene Solutions, to sanitise door handles, and Surewash, which trains staff hand-washing techniques from the World Health Organisation.
He said: “Dublin City Council spent €44million on PPE but when you wash to the WHO level you don’t need gloves.
“To sanitize door handles, there’s a little box above it and every time someone opens the door using the handle it disinfects it. It costs €40, and is idiot proof.
“Businesses were all very excited. But we reached out to Government, zero interest.
“We are left banging our heads off the wall. If we do it right, we can reopen. There has to be a pragmatic response.”
Kilian McGreal is a community pharmacist of 20 years, running stores across Wicklow, Kildare, Dublin, Laois and Westmeath.
In February, he saved the life of a man who developed a severe allergic reaction while eating in a restaurant, by administering an Epipen.
Within weeks, he was ahead of the Government in preparation for the looming pandemic.
He said: “I was watching the data and it was obvious something was happening.
“By March we had social distancing, face masks, hand sanitiser and home delivery measures put in place. We set up a Covid community response group.
“My gut told me there was a chance that Covid-19 could be transmitted in the air, and I knew I had to do something to protect staff.
‘BACKS UP THE SCIENCE’
“With Novaerus, the robust independent data backs up the science.
“All the evidence says this machine decreases the pathogens in the air, and significantly reduces the risk of contracting airborne illness.
“It won’t kill everything — nothing does — but based on the data it massively decreases the risk of airborne infection.”
Mr McGreal has distributed hundreds of devices around the country but says the potential is “limitless”.
He said: “I’ve been getting the message out since — this is the best device, the best science, it is Irish-made. I have to tell this story.
“Now we know about aerosol transmission. You plug this in, turn it on and leave it. It kills pathogens. GPs, pharmacies, open plan offices, large corporates are all using it. It’s for everyone.”
He added: “My priority is to protect my customers and my team. We are trying to create awareness.
“The Government has to listen to the health professionals and work on that basis.
“But the health professionals were, until recently, saying it wasn’t aerosol transmitted.”
Mr Harte added: “We have the Tradfest festival running in January if we get down to Level 2. Venues will be equipped with Novaerus.
“The lack of creative thinking in Government is nearly as big a threat as Coronavirus.
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“We need rapid, creative and scientific solutions for every town in the country.
“We won’t be going back to the packed pubs for quite some time, but we have a second chance in lockdown to get it right.
“We need solutions to keep the cities open. Get our heads out of Zoom, make a plan and make it work.”