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Sky News, Ian King Live – Reducing the transmission of COVID-19: Bringing the outside, inside

PA's Global Head of Consumer and Manufacturing, Wil Schoenmakers was interviewed on Sky News' Ian King Live, discussing how NHS hospitals are  trialling a revolutionary new decontamination technology, developed by PA Consulting (PA), and Hydroxyl Technologies Ltd (HTL) to fight the transmission of COVID-19.

Watch Wil talk about the new Airora Professional device being trialled by NHS hospitals and how its technology can be used to limit the spread of COVID-19 below.

Wil Schoenmakers, PA Global Head of Consumer and Manufacturing, talks to Sky News’ Ian King about the firm's role in the ground-breaking new decontamination technology to reduce COVID-19 transmission indoors

Commenting on PA's work on the Airora Professional, Wil says:

“This was a technology that we’ve been working on for the last fifteen years. It originally came from the Ministry of Defence, more than thirty years ago, and we then repurposed it fifteen years ago to really deal with pandemics, viral infections and bacterial infections.

“Fifteen years ago, it was quite difficult to tell the NHS that it was something that would be useful, because it deals not only with COVID, but it deals with things like influenza, things like the superbug as well. But what happened was, about fifteen years ago, as we go back, we then said let’s focus on things like malodour control, etc., and then suddenly COVID happens.

So, we went back to fifteen years of research and said this must be the right solution because it does replicate outdoor air indoors and keeps us safe indoors.”

Wil continues: "In the unit, we have a UV light and we have a little cartridge with plant oils in it, and it basically does what happens in outdoor areas.

So, when we walk outside, there are three components in outdoor air: there’s UV light, there is natural occurring ozone, and there are plant oils. And that combination creates an active that we are surrounded by, by the billions, all the time, day and night. And that exact process, we’ve managed to replicate to an indoor environment. Because, as you will appreciate, indoor, that kind of reaction does not happen because we don’t have plant oils floating in the air and we don’t have UV in the indoor environment.”

When asked who manufactures the units, Wil replied:

“We are working with the Airora company. We’ve had that collaboration for the last fifteen years, and we are scaling up for a launch - a large launch, of tens of thousands of units per week, in Q1 of 2021.

“We are going into trials into the NHS hospitals as of today, and then we continue to make units, be that a smaller rate for the next three to four months, hundreds of units that we can get into bars, pubs, restaurants, schools, and universities. It’s basically any indoor environment is where this unit could do its work and keep us safe.”

When asked by Ian King if one was in the vicinity, would one know if the unit is active, and that the environment is being changed? Wil concluded:

“It sits in the background; you won’t know it’s there. It’s doing its work 24/7 and you won’t notice it. You won’t smell it, other than it creates a clean, fresh air smell. So, when people walk in the room, when this unit is on, they actually say ‘this feels very clean, it feels very fresh in here’, and that’s the only signal that you have that this unit is working. It kills any COVID particles in the air as they emerge from any people that might carry COVID.”

For more information about the NHS trials and PA Consulting’s role, read the press release.

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