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HK airport to roll out full-body disinfectant booths

mage Credits: Hong Kong International Airport, Press Release

To prevent further spread of coronavirus, Hong Kong International Airport is testing a new machine that would effectively sanitize passengers head to toe.

The CLeanTech machine acts as a full-body disinfectant, killing bacteria on people’s bodies and clothing. The cleaning, which takes 40 seconds, uses an antimicrobial coating on the interior surface of the machine as well as sanitizing spray for “instant disinfection,” according to a press release shared by the airport.

The machine is kept at “negative pressure to prevent cross-contamination between the outside and inside environment.” Anyone who steps inside first goes through a temperature check.

The machine is currently being used by airport staff who specifically handle public health issues for arriving passengers there.

The Deputy Director for service delivery of the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) stated that the safety and wellbeing of airport staff and passengers are always its priority.

It was noted that while although air traffic has been impacted by the pandemic, the AA spares no effort in ensuring that the airport is a safe environment for all users. The airport will continue to look into new measures to enhance our cleaning and disinfection work.

In addition to the full-body machine, the Hong Kong airport has introduced other cleaning measures to assure passengers.

The AA said it was piloting an invisible antimicrobial coating sprayed in all passenger facilities, including high-touch surfaces like check-in kiosks and baggage carts.

And cleaning robots equipped with ultraviolet light and air sterilizers are being deployed to public areas. According to the AA, the robots can sterilize up to 99.99% of bacteria in the air and on surfaces in 10 minutes.

The cleaning efforts come as air travel has been severely stymied by the spread of coronavirus and changes will likely be necessary going forward to assuage passengers who fly.

More than 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Hong Kong, according to Johns Hopkins University, which tracks the virus.

Hong Kong Airport rolls out virus-killing robots to disinfect public areas

Hong Kong International Airport also deployed several self-driving robots to clean public areas as part of its measures to protect against the spread of the coronavirus.

While robots have reportedly joined the battle against Covid-19 in many hospitals around the world, Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) said Hong Kong’s airport is the first airport in the world to use the sterilization robots, which were developed in Hong Kong.

Robots called “Whiz” and “Intelligent Sterilization Robot (ISR)” have been used at the airport to sanitize and clean public areas like toilets.

Cleaning robots use UV light to zap germs 

Intelligent Sterilization Robots (ISR) santising bathrooms at the HKIA. Photo: HKIA, Press Release.

The airport has deployed three robots known as Intelligent Sterilization Robots (ISR) for cleaning and disinfection. These are being used “round-the-clock” in public toilets and “key operating areas” in the terminal building.

These tall, self-moving robots are equipped with both a UV light sterilizer and an air sterilizer to kill germs. Each ISR has a head that can spin 360 degrees to spray disinfectant and a body that is lined with bulbs that emit ultra-violet lights.

These can “sterilize up to 99.99% of bacteria and virus in the air and on object surfaces” in just 10 minutes.

The airport authority said during the UV light sterilization process, the cleaning areas are cordoned-off to prevent travellers at the airport from encountering the robots and its light.

During the air spray sterilization process, the robots can sterilize designated areas with people on-site, the airport authority said.

The airport is also using five Whizz robots, which are self-driving vacuum sweepers that clean floors at the airport’s terminals.

In addition to enhancing cleaning performance, Whiz also helps boost operational productivity as cleaners can be reallocated to other cleaning tasks, particularly those critical cleaning and disinfection tasks.

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