While wearing a mask when stepping out is mandatory in the COVID-19 times, Indian researchers has come up with a new face mask with a germicidal fabric that can kill the coronavirus within three minutes, a media report said on Friday. This development could hold far-reaching significance in the global battle against the pandemic. “A team of researchers from the Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine, inStem, Bengaluru, has developed a germicidal fabric called G-fab,” the digital news site Federal reported. “The novel material is effective in deactivating enveloped viruses (to which the current coronavirus belongs) and bacteria upon contact with it.”
The coronavirus pandemic has prompted an unprecedented surge in demand for masks, which offer some protection against the transmission of disease. With frequent handwashing among the protective measures, face masks are considered the most effective means for avoiding the coronavirus which has killed nearly one millions people globally out 32.5 million infected people. While in India alone, more than 92,500 people had died in battling against the pandemic out of 5.8 million corona positive people.
As per reports, Tamil Nadu-based company has started manufacturing the face masks under the brand name G99+ and priced at Rupees 249 each. The reusable masks come with an optional filter which costs Rupees 50 each. “We have developed novel molecules that can deactivate viruses and bacteria upon contact. The molecules are covalently attached to the fibres of cotton fabric. This makes the fabric antimicrobial,” the report quoted Doctor. Praveen Vemula, lead scientist of the project, as saying.
According to the reports, Dr Vemula is an innovator and entrepreneur at inStem and is instrumental in translating many research studies into commercial products in India, the USA and France. The report mentioned that the reusable mask comprises of three layers: the outer two layers which are germicidal, and the innermost layer is made of cotton. The mask includes a slit between the three layers for an add-on filter.
“The wearer has the option of using the insert for additional protection in dense atmospheres like malls or crowded areas,” it added. It is to bo noted that the mask have passed all necessary regulatory and testing procedures. “The team has demonstrated the efficacy of the germicidal fabric in killing a broad spectrum of bacteria (gram-positive and gram-negative) and viruses such as lentivirus, Sendi virus, coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, and human influenza viruses (H1N1),” the report further added.