Rohan Oberoi, the founder and CEO of Momentum India Pvt Ltd, who had been helping people fight the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and has been making India safer with his product ‘UV Safe’, sat with NewsX for an exclusive chat. Talking about their latest product that has been effective against Covid-19, Rohan said that “Within Momentum India, our brilliant team collaborated with IIT Ropar, under the guidance of Dr Das and Dr Khushburaka”.
According to Rohan, they worked on this technology for the past four months which is called UVGI (Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation). Rohan told, “The technology has existed for decades. Back in 2003, CDC and WHO recommended this technology to eradicate tuberculosis along with several other pandemics and diseases which were affecting certain countries”.
Rohan said explaining the above-mentioned technology that if he had to explain it simply, ultraviolet rays, which are also formed naturally from sunlight, have three different wavelengths A, B and C and they are using the lowest wavelength which is C, blocked by the ozone layer and does not reach us on Earth to kill pathogens, viruses or bacteria, making our places and areas safer to live in.
Addressing the safety concerns related to the product, Mr Oberoi said that “UVC rays are blocked by the ozone layer, as I said earlier, and do not reach us in natural form, this is why we stay safe. So it is right to say that prolonged exposure to UVC rays can be harmful to humans. However, our device is not built to be used with a human presence at that point in time. If the device is simply to be used in an unoccupied room and switched off then there is no residue, hence it is completely safe when it is used by people”.
Talking about the technology being proven against coronavirus or SARS Scope 2, Rohan said, “In India, It is banned to test disinfection devices as they could cause more harm than good to people so we have tested it on other viruses and bacteria in India but not on SARS Scope 2”.
Talking about the surfaces which can be disinfected with the product, Rohan said, “we have tested it on bacteria and viruses through the research and analysis wing and the results have been very promising. We used two distances and three mediums so we used air and carpet because it’s a highly porous surface and porosity is a problem”. According to Rohan, they used metal which was less porous so they wanted to test it on all three to see how it worked and tested it on two timelines and two different distances which were one meter for two minutes and three meters for ten minutes.
“With bacteria, we have a 100% chance of elimination and with viruses, we have a result of 99.8% in all three surfaces at two and ten minutes so the results are extremely promising”. According to him, there was an independent study done by Boston University on SARS Scope 2 using UVGI technology and UVC tower lamps through a company called Signify Lighting which is actually into UVGI technology in the US and they have been able to prove that it has worked on SARS Scope 2 as well.
The disinfection method is different from the conventional chemical disinfection method, talking about that, Rohan said: “The timelines are very similar if you have chemical disinfection that needs to be carried out, then you simply can’t have one chemical fitting all the devices you have at certain high touchpoints where use alcohol-based chemicals on your floors and certain other areas that you disinfect using sodium hydrochloride which is very commonly known as bleach in diluted forms”.
“The problem with chemical disinfection is that there is residue and it’s human dependant in the sense that there is always a chance for human error, like something missing out of place, not diluting the chemical enough or spraying it too much so it could be ‘either-or’, wherein, with the UVGI or UVC tower, it does not differentiate. It is remote operation, it’s simply shining a light on the devices. So there’s no residue and no human error at all, it does not alter any surfaces and see if you can reoccupy the spaces, almost immediately “.
Talking about the cost of the product, UV Safe, Rohan said that they are offering it for a price as low as 15,000 plus taxes. Rohan called it one of the most economical devices.