South Africa installs walk-through sanitising booths at motor parks to disinfect commuters against covid-19 virus
London, May 15, 2020 (AltAfrica)-As part of measures to curb the continued rise of coronavirus in South Africa, the South African National Taxi Council has installed state-of-the-art sanitising booths at some major motor parks to disinfect commuters against the coronavirus pandemic
Filing one by one through the sanitising booths-a metal tunnel, commuters were hit with a cold mist containing a disinfectant supposed to kill the pathogen. A sensor then triggers a soft spray of mist that is capable of sanitising the entire body. Some recoiled as the fog hit their faces, while others spun around to get an even coating.
Thursday was the first day the booth was operating at the bus station as a pilot project, but similar installations are in use at other locations including a train station and a mine.
Keen to show they are doing all they can to protect people, governments around the world have rolled out disinfectant tunnels, sprayed pavements with bleach and used drones to spray public spaces.
Santaco Gauteng chairman Buti Mkonza said that this equipment makes sanitisation very easy. “We have made sure that all of our customers and drivers remain safe during this outbreak. It will help to sanitise everything including your luggage,” said Mkonza.
“All customers, staff and taxi drivers will have to walk through this every time they enter the rank. Our taxi ranks carry a huge number of people every day, from home to places of work and beyond. The safety of our customers, as well as the entire nation is of utmost importance. We are always taking steps to ensure that all our customers remain safe, especially during this coronavirus outbreak,” said Mkonza.
“I’m happy as long as they are trying to sanitise it, it shows … they are doing something,” said Bright Shabani, a 34-year-old merchandiser, who described going to work every day in the rush hour as traumatic.
South Africa has recorded just over 12,000 cases of the virus, with 219 deaths.
Vuyelwa Toni Penxa, managing director of Real African Works Industries, which makes the booths told Reuters that the fog used is herbal.
Vuyelwa Toni Penxa tests have shown that the herbal fog is 99.9% effective against bacteria and other pathogens, including a virus similar to the novel coronavirus.
The company said it is awaiting tests to prove its effectiveness on this strain, so while they can’t yet be 100% certain, she was confident the tunnels could make a difference.
“We are hoping to reduce the number of people that are infected,” she said, adding however: “No one solution can be prescribed to combat COVID-19.”