The Covid-19 pandemic has created a massive dislocation in world economies and life as we know it, and there is an immediate need to mitigate and destroy the virus before it continues to spread, followed by protective protocols aimed at reducing the public’s fear moving forward. JBT ally Aurratech’s ‘Fog In Place®’ method of sanitization is already working on the problem in Brazil and Spain, with 20 machines fighting the spread of the virus 24/7.
Aurratech is currently helping sanitize a wide range of facilities and vehicles against Covid-19, including corporate offices and banks, government offices, industrial production facilities mandated to continue operations, hospital waiting rooms and taxis across both countries. Starting from April 4, Aurratech will also be disinfecting ambulances in Brazil, helping to disinfect – at least once a day – some of the most easily contaminated vehicles in common use.
Aurratech became involved in decontaminated facilities outside of the food industry after being invited to disinfect the H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel in Tenerife, which was the site of the first positive Covid-19 infection in the Canary Islands. Some 1,000 guests were quarantined for two weeks at the hotel and following its evacuation in late March, Aurratech was asked to sanitize the premises to make it safe for cleaning, although it remains closed at the current time.
Up until that time, Aurratech had been working almost exclusively in the food industry, carrying out airborne and surface disinfection for a variety of products against bacteria and pathogens almost on a daily basis, according to company founder and managing director Caio Agmont. “The process is the same whether we are running it in a production line or in Spanish government offices,” he explains. “Fog In Place has the advantage of being able to run any kind of chemicals, so in addition to food production facilities, we are now using it to decontaminate office buildings, hospitals, taxis, the Treasury Ministry in Spain and corporate banks in Brazil.
“The goal of the Fog In Place process is to disinfect the maximum amount of surface area,” says Agmont. “If you are cleaning an office in a conventional way, you typically only cover 30-40% of the total surface area; Fog In Place reaches 100%.”
Another recent, large scale roll-out of the system was in São Paulo, Brazil, working with 99 Taxi, a private car service. Aurratech has now installed a Fog In Place machine at Sao Paulo airport which can sanitize 300 cars a day, especially useful as people in Brazil’s most populous city are now avoiding public transport for fear of infection, instead opting for taxis or private cars to move around the metropolis. In fact, as Agmont explains, the São Paulo airport unit can treat four cars at a time, leaving them completely disinfected within 15 minutes.
Agmont believes one lasting consequence of the Covid-19 crisis is that it may well make both companies and individuals more aware of the dangers of food borne illness, which is linked to an estimated half a million deaths per year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The WHO further forecasts that hospital-related infections will likely become the number one cause of deaths worldwide by 2050 due to the predicted emergence of super-bacterias, making the need for effective treatments such as Fog In Place even more imperative. “I think Coronavirus is going to change behavior and will make many more people aware of the deadly threat that micro-organisms can pose to the whole of society,” Agmont adds.