Meet the foggers, the latest innovation in the war against Covid-19
Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favourite stories in this weekly newsletter.
We now know that we are most likely to catch coronavirus from airborne particles, hence the crucial importance of wearing a mask. The risk of catching the virus from contaminated surfaces is now thought lower, but remains a risk nevertheless, which is why we’re still being urged to wash our hands regularly and clean frequently used surfaces in the home.
Being one to err on the side of caution, I use Clinell wipes – standard issue in ambulances and hospitals – for envelopes, boxes, supermarket deliveries and takeaways. For hands, I’ve been using Zoono, a New Zealand product now made in the UK, for over a year. It claims, with impressive research back-up, to remain anti-viral for up to 24 hours and remain active even when you wash your hands several times. For phone, keys, even pocket change, I use a £60 ultraviolet sanitiser by Qdos, which bathes the phone with virucidal UV. The device doubles as a wireless phone charger.
This new sanitiser gun, then, may seem a late addition to the arsenal, but it’s great to use on larger parcels – and when lockdown is over and we can invite non-bubble people back into our homes, it will be even more useful for disinfecting surfaces quickly and effectively. The Portibac is what’s known in the antiviral business as a fogger. “Fogging” sprays micro-droplets of disinfectant onto surfaces and into cracks and crevices. They’ve taken off in China and are available for a lot less than Portibac’s £125 on websites such as Alibaba. However, Handigroup, the Cheshire PPE company behind Portibac, say it took care to source and improve the best of the bunch. And it’s a quality product, with a satisfying motorised burr when you press the trigger, a variable mist and a useful blue headlight to see where you’re aiming. Many cheaper foggers say their headlight is ultraviolet, but Portibac makes no such claim.
The disinfectant comes with all the relevant certifications, and is guaranteed suitable for food-preparation surfaces. It’s a non-alcoholic solution and is said to be 99.99 per cent effective against Covid on surfaces. The one downside is that it has rather a sickly perfume (you can choose from three), but once, like Pavlov’s dog, you start to associate the smell with massacring Covid-19, you almost get to like it.