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Gangtok, June 20: While there have been many reports of innovations coming up world-wide, during the pandemic and the lockdown that followed, Sikkim also hasn’t been left behind, with the youth and entrepreneurs of the State coming up with their imagination in creating innovations and designs to make life during the pandemic a bit easier.

Earlier, SC had featured a duo who with the assistance of AIC-SMUTBI which is Sikkim’s first incubation centre and Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology (SMIT) which encourages young entrepreneurs to hone their skills in generating Valued Human Resources, were able to produce their portable sensor operated hand sanitizer machine, after observing that in using the sanitizer bottle, people are in direct contact with it, increasing the risk of infection.

Similarly, a team of Engineers and Doctors in Sikkim were able to build UV-C Sterilization machines. Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) is a disinfection method that uses short-wavelength ultraviolet (ultraviolet C or UV-C) light to kill or inactivate microorganisms by destroying nucleic acids and disrupting their DNA, leaving them unable to perform vital cellular functions.

Or in simple words, the UV-C Sterilization machine can prevent the transmission of viruses and bacteria’s through ultra-violet rays and can work up to the distance of 100 nanometres to 1800 nanometres. The team who built the UV-C sterilization machines consists of Engineer Bikash Rai, Bhasker Pradhan and Keshav Raj Pradhan and is a joint venture with the Alkem Laboratories Ltd. Sikkim. The team has built three types of UV-C machines, namely: 

  • UVC Mobile Sterilization- Helps sterilization of the surface or Operation Theatres (OTs) instruments in hospitals within 45 minutes for 400sq. ft area. 
  • UVC Air Sterilization- Helps sterilization of the enclosed rooms within 30 minutes. 
  • UVC Sanitizer Box- Sanitizes any item of the hospital’s staffs within a minute (60 seconds). 

 While all of them use the same technology of UV-C irradiation, operate through WIFI and helps in prevention of the communicable diseases like the COVID-19. It was stressed that the machines were specially made keeping in mind the frontline warriors and for their convenience.

We were also informed that the UVC Air Sterilization machine was made in three nos.- one for STNM Hospital, Gangtok one for Namchi Hospital and one for Namthang PHC. The UVC Mobile Sterilization was made in two nos.- one for STNM Hospital, Gangtok and one for Namchi Hospital. The UVC Sanitizer Box has only been made for STNM Hospital, Gangtok. 

On June 19 an inauguration and giveaway program were conducted at Namchi, of the UV-C sterilization machines built in the State, on the “Doctors & Engineers meet (Microscale)- 2020 amidst COVID-19″ was conducted.

The inaugural ceremony of the UV-C sterilization machines was performed by Buildings & Housing Department and Transport Department Minster Sanjit Kharel with the attendance of District Collector South, IAS Ragul K with representatives from both Namchi Hospital and Alkem Laboratories Ltd also being present. 

The goal of conducting the program was to introduce the new way of sterilizing the hospital in the State through UV-C electromagnetic radiation during the pandemic. They say that the technology is being used all over the world and the usage rate is exponentially growing and has been proven to be effective for some time, for prevention of transmission of viruses and bacteria especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a lot of possibility of effective in suppressing the SARS-2 Virus.

The UV-C is also very effective in damaging the DNA\RNA of the viruses, bacteria of any pathogens, therefore suppressing their growth. Since the UV-C is also very harmful to humans, the sterilization system has been designed with a built-in redundancy safety feature for the proper and safe use of UV-C rays, and the machines have been designed and produced to be used in hospitals immediately. All three types of machines were delivered to the Doctor’s Concern of the designated hospitals.

Dr. P.D. Rai, Cardiologist at STNM Hospital, Gangtok highlighted us on the safety features of the UV-C Sterilization machines since many people have a preconceived notion of the risk factors of UV rays, which is rightly also. He says, “The engineers have installed a very useful safety profile in the machines, there is a sensor to switch off the machine. The sterilization system has been designed with a built-in redundancy safety feature for the proper and safe use of UV-C rays. If in contact with humans, it will be automatically switched off.”

Bikash Rai, who headed the team of engineers in creating this innovation says, “With the COVID-19 looming, we realized the UV-C Sterilization machines were the need of the hour. If more people come forward to creating more of the UV-C Sterilization machines arise, I’ll be available to guide and help out.”

The UV-C sterilization machines surely are very effective and impactful, to both the public and the State government, especially when times are as rough as they could be right now. Innovations in Sikkim are constantly burgeoning during the pandemic or without as well, which surely shows that the youth and entrepreneurs of Sikkim are as capable and as creative and imaginative as the rest of the world, which for the general public might come as a great relief. 

Read more related articles:

AIC-SMUTBI team develops reusable 3D printed mask

AIC-SMUTBI acceleration program for local startups launched virtually

Sikkimese boy at SMIT wins prestigious Boston Scientific ImagineIF award

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