Concerns over the emergence of a new COVID variant in the UK has not only brought forward the UK government’s booster vaccine programme but has business leaders looking at how best to mitigate the risk to their staff and operations.
The new BA.2.86 variant, nicknamed Pirola, has prompted concern among scientists because of the high number of mutations it carries, raising the possibility that it could evade the immune system more easily or be more transmissible.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) highlighted that there have been a number of cases of the new variant and, while scientific data is still scarce, the spread of Pirola has put the NHS and businesses on alert.
Dr Renu Bindra, the UKHSA incident director, explained: “It is clear that there is some degree of widespread community transmission, both in the UK and globally, and we are working to ascertain the full extent of this,” she said. “In the meantime, it remains vital that all those eligible come forward to receive their autumn vaccine as soon as it is offered to them.”
While there is no indication that the country will return to a system of lockdown if the number of cases continues to increase as we move toward winter, business will want to protect their staff when on their premises.
Risk mitigation through UV-C Disinfection Systems
There is a growing interest in the use UV-C disinfection systems which have been used in the medical sector and public buildings for many years. Advances in technology have enable such systems to be tailored to individual business needs and Powercor has partnered with specialist provider Signify, to offer a wide range of bespoke solutions.
Those solutions are already widely used in retail, gyms, spas, industry, restaurants, transport, hotel rooms, schools, universities and banks. However, during the return to work following the pandemic many businesses looked to us to support their return to offices up and down the country.
UV-C disinfection lighting offers a proven and effective way to disinfect pathogens including COVID-19. UV-C radiation in sunlight is filtered out by our atmosphere but inactivates viruses and germs, rendering them harmless to humans. Philips UV-C disinfection lighting systems inactivate 99% of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on a surface with an exposure time of six seconds.
Powercor is able deliver the latest UV-C disinfection lighting systems, manufactured by Signify, for use in schools, transport, offices, factories and retail outlets.
Options from surface to air
Options include the use of UV-C Upper Air Disinfection systems. The disinfection technology allows the air to be disinfected whilst staff are in the building. Installation is high up in a room and the units disinfect air as it passes through a well-controlled and narrow UV-C irradiated zone close to the ceiling.
A further option is a UV-C surface disinfection system. This is a fixed installation of luminaires on the ceiling used at controlled times to fill a room or enclosed space with disinfecting UV-C radiation. Surface disinfection cycles typically run at night, with control switches turning off the mechanism should movement be detected. For situations where a fixed system isn’t appropriate, Powercor can supply mobile air disinfection units. These low-cost solutions are ideal for waiting rooms, meeting rooms and other situations where there are multiple smaller spaces.
While a UV-C system kills pathogens efficiently, safety does need to be considered. Humans need to avoid UV-C light exposure to protect their eyes and skin. However, where UV-C products are used and installed correctly, they are a safe and effective form of disinfection.
As a Signify UV-C Certified Value Added Partner, with 25 years of experience, Powercor technicians are highly trained and install based on the latest safety guidelines and precautions. All safety risks are mitigated by established safeguards developed by Signify and installed by Powercor. Once professionally installed we can monitor and optimise the performance of your UV-C system.
Ask us about how Powercor can help you to keep your business, staff and customers safe whatever COVID variant we face in the months and years ahead.