A new spray ‘pod’ which kills coronavirus and could help bring millions of fans back to sport is being blocked by the Government, its inventors claim.
The sanitisation pod – which contains a 2.5m-long tunnel – kills the virus by spraying people with a fine mist as they walk through it.
It can cover up to 5,400 people every hour, and could be the answer to getting fans back into grounds – and saving some of the game’s oldest clubs.
The key ingredient, Hypochlorous fluid (HOCI), is made by white blood cells in the body to kill off viruses.
Medically safe, it has been scientifically proven to kill 99.999 percent of germs.
But its makers say it is being held up by Government guidance which states: ‘Do not spray people with disinfectants (such as in a tunnel, cabinet, or chamber) under any circumstances.”
“This practice could be physically and psychologically harmful and would not reduce an infected person’s ability to spread the virus through droplets or contact.
“Even if someone who is infected with COVID-19 goes through a disinfection tunnel or chamber, as soon as they start speaking, coughing or sneezing they can still spread the virus.”
BBC Dragon, Touker Suleyman, Labour MP Rosie Cooper, of the Health Select Committee, and Jerry Stonemetz, Medical Director at US Johns Hopkins University have all called for a rethink.
Entrepreneur Touker, the owner of upmarket shirt retailer Hawes & Curtis, said: “We need to get people back to work, whether it is the City, the High Street or the leisure sector.
“Anything that will help kickstart the economy has to be taken seriously by the Government. We would urge the Government to reassess their guidance on the use of sanitisation tunnels.”
Critics claim the guidance on sanitisation tunnels – put out by the Dept for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to theatres, then by the Health and Safety Executive – was based on early models which sprayed people with a bleach-based solution.
The new generation uses very different HOCI, which exists naturally in the human body.
Mr Stonemetz added: “HOCI is produced by the body’s immune system to combat foreign pathogens.
It instantaneously destroys a virus upon contact, and then degrades into completely benign, non-toxic compounds of water (H2O) and Cl ions, one of the elements of table salt.”
In the US, the NFL team Denver Broncos have been using a similar device to protect its players.
It has also been introduced in various bars in London.
Rosie Cooper, a Labour MP who sits on the Health Select Committee, said: “It is ridiculous that the Government is still not giving real consideration to re-evaluating sanitisation tunnels.”
Damien Hancox, founder of SpectrumX, which has developed sanitisation tunnels using HOCI, told of ‘huge interest’ from sports clubs, event organisers, and transport firms.
“Tunnels with completely safe and effective solutions will provide security and confidence for businesses,” he said.
“The Government needs to revisit their guidance
as a matter of urgency.”
He is backing our campaign to Save Our Sport, adding: “Sports clubs from the Premier League to grass roots organisations need to be supported and protected.
“They play a key role in people’s lives and in the wider economy. The long term way to support clubs is to find the safest way of getting fans back into events.
Should the pods be given the green light by government? Have your say below.
“This is why we fully support the Mirror’s campaign to Save our Sport.”
A camera in the tunnel ensures spectators are wearing a mask and checks whether they have a temperature.
SpectrumX pods have been trialled at a boxing event by UK boxing promoter Eddie Hearn – and used by heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua.
Dr Colin Petts, 63, an applied physicist and scientific advisor to SpectrumX, said: “Their tunnels could be a crucial tool in the fight against infection and getting people back into public spaces such as sports grounds or retail centres.”
The Health and Safety Executive were approached for a comment.
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