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COVID-19 is a mix of challenges and opportunities for technology

By Vishesh Kaul
May 12, 2020: The coronavirus outbreak is first of its kind human tragedy, affecting hundreds of thousands of people. The outbreak is quick and spreading rapidly across the countries. As we know it has going to have a huge impact on the global economy and that is eventually having drastic effects on all the spheres connected to the economy. One of such sectors which is going to have a multiple challenges and new opportunities is Air quality related companies. As we know COVID-19 is not air borne but can be air transmitted in certain cases. COVID-19 virus is primarily transmitted between people through respiratory droplets and contact routes. These respiratory infections can be transmitted through droplets of different sizes: when the droplet particles are >5-10 μm in diameter they are referred to as respiratory droplets, and when then are <5μm in diameter, they are referred to as droplet nuclei.  
Many unknowns
To determine how speech and breathing contribute to COVID-19 transmission, our team started to research on how much virus the average aerosol contains and rate of transmission through Air. Tracking how the aerosols move in different environments, when subjected to different air flows, would also provide key clues about the risk of transmission. For instance, a turbulent air flow could carry an infectious cloud far away from the original speaker but could also dilute the viral concentration to a relatively harmless level.
Future research could also address how varying levels of humidity, wind and heat affect aerosols and the viruses held within them.
 Get  workspaces ready
Post lockdown we need all efforts to manage this pandemic from all fronts. Representatives of European Heating and Ventilating Associations (REHVA) proposes, especially in ‘hot spot’ areas to use the ALARA principle (As Low as Reasonably Achievable) and to take a set of measures that help to also control the airborne route in buildings. 
In buildings that have been vacated due to the pandemic it is not recommended to switch ventilation off, but to operate continuously at reduced speed. The general advice is to supply as much outside air as reasonably possible. Usage of Air Purifiers is more advisable in these conditions. Room air cleaners effectively remove particles from air which provides a similar effect compared to ventilation. Usage of EGAPA (effective granular adsorption particulate arrester) has a better efficiency in  reducimg these aerosols as  compared to HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air). 
Air Ok Provides a wide range of Air purifiers to make your indoors safe and a better place to live with multiple variants of filter technologies. 
Challenges and new opportunities 
Due to the lack of workforce in the manufacturing sector due to the complete lockdown in different parts of the country, it is expected that the we will see a dip in the availability of number of raw materials. As the production plants are working with a limited workforce, they will hardly be able to cope with the demand of the goods once the lockdown is lifted. However, considering the economic condition, demand for all types of goods will not exactly be the same as it was in the pre-lockdown or pre-COVID-19 period, but there will be a lack of availability of them or may price high.
To cope up with this we need to come up with new products where we can make sure the production should not hold back and the supply of goods should be on the same phase where we have left it. Market Research finds that the usage of Air Purifiers will tend to go up post the lock down. So, we need to make sure that the availability of all the variants are ready for supply.

The author is  Head, Sales & Operations,  Air Ok Technologies.