News Excerpt
A technology developed under the NIDHI PRAYAS program initiated by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) by an incubatee company of SciTech Park, Pune has emerged as an effective solution for India’s fight against COVID-19 by reducing the viral load of infected areas within a room significantly within an hour.

NIDHI PRAYAS
•    NIDHI (National Initiative for Development and Harnessing Innovations) is an umbrella program, pioneered by the DST for nurturing ideas and innovations (knowledge-based and technology-driven) into successful start-ups.
•    There are 8 components of NIDHI that support each stage of a budding start-up from idea to market.
•    NIDHI – PRAYAS (Promoting and accelerating Young and Aspiring Innovators and Start-ups) is a component under the programme to facilitate and enable minimum 100 innovators annually across the country in translating their ideas into prototype through funding support to maximum 10 PRAYAS Centres (PC) in the country.
•    It aims to support innovators to build prototypes of their ideas by providing a grant up to Rs.10 lakhs and an access to Fabrication Laboratory.

Highlights
    An air purifying technology developed by an incubatee company of the Pune-based Science and Technology Park could offer an effective solution to the country’s fight against the COVID-19 contagion by reducing the viral load of the infected areas.
    The technology has been developed under the ‘Nidhi PRAYAS’ programme.
    The SciTech Aironionizer machine generates negatively charged ions at approximately hundred million per 8 seconds (10 ions per sec).
    The negative ions generated form clusters around microparticles such as airborne mold, corona or influenza viruses, mite allergens, bacteria, pollens, dust etc. and render them inactive through a chemical reaction by creating highly reactive hydroxyl radicals and atmospheric detergents (hydroxyl groups are composed of one hydrogen atom bonded to one oxygen atom and denoted as -OH or HO-).
    The detergent property generated by the ion generator helps in the breakdown of the outer protein of the allergens, viruses, and bacteria, which helps in controlling airborne diseases.  
    It increases the body's resistance to infections and harmful environmental factors. This resistance could be helpful for the next 20-30 days outside the ion atmosphere.
    It also decomposes gaseous pollutants like Carbon Monoxide (1000 times more harmful than Carbon dioxide), Nitrogen dioxide, and Volatile Organic Compounds.
    It could also be useful against floating viruses in the air on public transport, train stations, or airports, or especially within a confined space like a plane cabin, house, hospital ward, and so on.
    One hour of operation of Ion generator machine reduces viral load within a room by 99.7% depending on room size.

Conclusion
The negative ion generator could help to control the virus, bacteria, and fungal infections in a closed environment and clean up the air and disinfect areas which are exposed to the infection through COVID-19 positive cases and suspects. Hence it could ensure the wellbeing of the staff, doctors, and nurses who are working round the clock in the quarantine facilities by enhancing their disease resistance power and ability to fight the virus.