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'Anti coronavirus' clothing developed by Australian and Indian companies

Source: Getty Images

An 'anti-corona' fabric is being developed by a Victoria-based textile chemical company in association with an Indian textile company, which claims to reduce COVID-19 particles on textiles to virtually "non-detectable".

Dr Christopher Harvey, President of HealthGuard, says the company's product has been tested against and destroys Human Strain SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) when tested at the Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity at The University of Melbourne.


Highlights:

  • Health Guard Australia has developed a technology that claims to make fabric Corona-resistant.
  • WHO approved labs have tested this technology.
  • Indian textile company Siaram's is using it to produce 'Corona-resistant' fabrics.

"This Research Institute was more interested in finding a vaccine rather than finding something that will mitigate the transmission of coronavirus. So we decided upon the protocol with Melbourne University. This was a live human SAARS-2 strain of COVID-19," said Dr Harvey.

Corona-resistant fabric
Supplied

"We had it tested with live human COVID19. They were absolutely amazed at the results they got with our product. Within 10 minutes, we had destroyed 99.99% of the virus."

How does it work?

A research letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine claims that the virus could live in the air for up to three hours, on copper for up to four hours, on cardboard for up to 24 hours, and on plastic and stainless steel for up to two to three days. 

"So far, evidence suggests that it's harder to catch the virus from a soft surface (such as fabric) than it is from frequently touched hard surfaces like elevator buttons or door handles," wrote Lisa Maragakis, MD, senior director of infection prevention at the Johns Hopkins Health System.

Dr Harvey explains that the diseases can be transmitted from textile surfaces.

He says we may wear a mask to prevent inhalation, wash our hands and use hand sanitizer, however, our clothes can carry live virus droplets for many hours. 

"Most of our bodies are covered in textile surfaces during the day and during the night. We sleep within a textile bedding and sheets etc. We sit in the textile, in a chair unless we're sitting in a leather chair. That can transmit diseases to you."

"We are talking about all forms of textile which can be treated from curtains to bagging, carpets to car upholstery. Fabrics are in our lives everywhere, and they are able to transmit the diseases."

A woman wearing a face mask walks inside a reopened shopping mall, as the lockdown came to an end.
A woman wearing a face mask walks inside a reopened shopping mall, as the lockdown came to an end.
Prabin Ranabhat / SOPA Images/Sipa USA

The product called HealthGuard AMIC has been on the company's product list for over 25 years since the H1N1 virus, which was the first coronavirus scare that the world had. 

"So with slight modifications to the delivery system of my health guard dynamic, I've been able to successfully reduce COVID-19 virus particles on textiles and other trading services to non-detectable."

"When people sneeze, when we talk loudly when we shout or just by laughing, we are emitting micro-particles of moisture from our bodies. Now, these micro-particles contain a virus.

"These micro-particles are so light they will suspend in the air for many hours. We can be walking around the supermarket; we can be even walking around our own homes, in the street, in the car, on public transport. You will pass through them with your body. They are attached to your clothing. These particles can live on your clothing from nine hours to nine days."

Corona-resistant fabric
Supplied

"So, you can carry the virus particles despite wearing masks and using all the precautions. But, when we touch our face after touching our clothes, the virus is transmitted, and an anti-corona fabric can prevent that."

Indian textile company Siaram's has worked with HealthGuard Australia for many years to produce antimicrobial fabrics.

Anti-viral fabric is here to stay

In a statement, Ramesh Poddar, CMD of Siyaram's Silk Mills Ltd said, "We at Siyaram's have ensured that we do not compromise on the style quotient, the texture, the designs and the colour of the fabric.

"We want our customers to be protected in style, and in the coming days, the anti-corona fabric will not just be a trend, but it will be a necessity. This fabric will allow our customers to embrace life after lockdown with full confidence and have an armour against the adversities." 

Women wearing face masks look through clothes at a retail store inside Manhattan as the city enters phase 3 of reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Women wearing face masks look through clothes at a retail store inside Manhattan as the city enters phase 3 of reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Photo by Braulio Jatar / SOPA Images/Sipa USA

Dr Harvey says Siaram's was very quick to think it could be a golden opportunity. 

"Plus, the Americans don't want to take many articles from India because of the chance of transmission from the textile factory through the contamination," says Dr Harvery, who says he has been contacted by many textile companies interested in his anti-viral technology.

He says many multi-national clothing brands are working with his company to use this technology.

"Fourteen companies listed in front of me are ready to go," he says.

"We're talking about one of the world's oldest and largest manufacturers of denim products which were all love to wear. 60% of the global production for this company is carried out in India. We have two of the biggest sportswear manufacturers popular amongst young people and athletes ready to go," says Dr Harvey adding that anti-corona fabrics are here to stay for a very long time.

 


Residents in metropolitan Melbourne are subject to stay-at-home orders and can only leave home for essential work, study, exercise or care responsibilities. People are also advised to wear masks in public.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus

Residents in Melbourne public housing towers who need access to support and assistance should call the Housing Call Centre on 1800 961 054. If you need a translator, first call 131 450. Both services are 24/7. More information can be found here.

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