Naas Army expert in coronavirus hit Italy helps create new antibacterial wipes

HSE says one case confirmed in Northern Ireland

Kim O'Leary

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Kim O'Leary

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editor@kildarepost.com

Naas Army expert in coronavirus hit Italy helps create new antibacterial wipes

The ABwipes have been developed as part of new initiative by the Defence Forces and NUI Galway

A Naas army expert in Italy as the coronavirus hits the region has helped to create a new antibacterial wipe which may help to halt the spread of the deadly virus.

Retired Irish Army Bomb Disposal Expert and Naas based LT Col Ray Lane and his wife are currently in Lake Como in Italy which is one of several regions in the country facing threat from the coronavirus.

Speaking to KildareNow this week, Lt Col Lane said that Lake Como is currently ‘calm and quiet.’ “There’s no sense of fear here in Lake Como, everyone is keeping calm. There are some restrictions in place such as bars and restaurants closing at 6pm in the evening, and mass has also been cancelled. There’s no big panic, but face masks are available to people who want them,” explained Lt Col Lane.

Lt Col Lane is involved in the development of Anti-Biological Wipes in conjunction with the European Defence Agency and NUI Galway. The project is being led by esteemed Professor Lokesh Joshi.  

Research shows that these wipes could be effective in the battle against the deadly Coronavirus, which is reported to have developed in a food market in Wuhan, China, before Christmas.

This project, a collaboration which has the backing of the  European Defence Agency (EDA) (funding) with the Czech University of Defence and the Defence Forces Ireland, Aquila Bioscience at National University of Ireland Galway, has been able to develop a novel, safe, effective and environmentally friendly technology called ABwipeTM.

According to Lt Col Lane, the wipes decontaminate surfaces from bacterial, viral and biotoxin loads.  ABwipeTM contains a naturally occurring biodegradable cellulose-based material with natural proteins and carbohydrates that are specifically selected to bind to, remove from the target surface, and trap biological agents including viruses, bacteria, fungi and biotoxins.

“The wipes have so far proven to be effective and we believe that they could potentially help stop the virus from spreading further, it’s something that maybe the HSE should consider implementing in Ireland as well as the isolation rooms and the face masks as precautionary measures,” said Lt Col Lane.

While 11 deaths linked to the coronavirus have been reported in Italy in recent days, Ireland currently remains in a "containment phase" in relation to COVID-19 – the coronavirus which has spread globally from Wuhan in China.

The HSE has said it is aware of one confirmed case of coronavirus in Northern Ireland which was confirmed last night after a woman travelled through Dublin Airport to reach Northern Ireland, where she is now receiving treatment. The Department of Health has said today that everyone who has been in close contact with the woman has been traced and notified.

They said that anyone who had been in close contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19 in the last 14 days should self-isolate and call their GP.

It can take up to 14 days for symptoms of the virus to show and symptoms may include a cough, a shortness of breath, breathing difficulties, or a high temperature.

The virus can also cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

Measures to protect yourself from contracting the virus include washing your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub, and covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze.

For more information and advice visit www.HSE.ie