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Jakarta Post

Malang university students invent disinfection chamber to prevent COVID-19 spread

  • Aman Rochman

    The Jakarta Post

Malang   /   Sat, March 21, 2020   /   04:59 pm
Malang university students invent disinfection chamber to prevent COVID-19 spread A resident is sprayed by disinfectant inside a Sikat Corona (corona scrubber) chamber, an automatic disinfectant sprayer before entering the Rampal field in Malang city, East Java on March 20. The chamber was invented by seven students of Brawijaya University in Malang to prevent COVID-19 infection in the city. (JP/Aman Rochman )

Students of Brawijaya University in Malang, East Java invented a disinfection chamber to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the area, which authorities have declared to be vulnerable to a disease outbreak.

The device, called the Sikat Corona (corona scrubber) or SiCo, is a two-meter-high, one-meter-wide chamber covered by a transparent material and equipped with a nozzle to spray disinfectant.

Syahrizal Maulana, one of seven students working on the chamber, said it could be operated manually or automatically.

The manual chamber, which requires a human operator, is suitable for indoor usage. Meanwhile, the automatic one is suitable for outdoor usage in public places, such as parks and markets, because the chamber would automatically spray disinfectant whenever a person enters it.

“Current methods of disinfection mainly depend on the availability of human operators. This can be ineffective as it would create long queues of people waiting to be disinfected,” Syahrizal said.

Read also: Regions close schools, cancel public events because of COVID-19

The chamber holds seven liters of liquid disinfectant that can be used for 15 people at most. It takes five seconds to spray disinfectant on one person.

The mechanical engineering student added that the liquid disinfectant used in the chamber was made from herbal ingredients and non-flammable alcohol, which are safe for humans.

Malang administration cooperated with Brawijaya University to procure 70 SiCo chambers, each valued for Rp 2 million (US$126.75), to be installed in various spots across the city.

“Malang health agency would provide the liquid disinfectant. The mobile chambers would be available to be borrowed by those who need them,” Malang regional secretary Wasto said.

East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa on Friday declared a state of emergency in the province in an effort to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. Malang and Surabaya were also declared "red zones" as 175 people in Surabaya and 74 others in Malang were suspected of having contracted COVID-19.

“The state of emergency is to be enforced for an indefinite period,” Khofifah said on Friday, as quoted by Antara news agency. (trn)