A NEW weapon in the fight against coronavirus is being developed and it claims to kill airborne Covid-19 in minutes.

The unit, the result of a ground-breaking collaboration between a Glasgow firm based in the old Springburn College and scientists from Oxford University, is believed to be the world’s first DNO filter technology air purifier.

Academics and scientists at Swiss firm SGS – world leaders in scientific testing and certification – have stated that with an infection kill rate of 99.9%, the device delivers the best results they’ve ever encountered

The revolutionary air-cleaning unit scrubs infected atmospheres of germs and bacteria.

Put simply, if this unit had been around at the start of the year many more people in care homes would have been saved.

Its creators have already donated units to Manchester’s NHS Nightingale Hospital and to hospitals in China’s Shandong Province.

Raymond McGurk, chief executive of Cleaner Purer Air, said the partnership with Oxford University happened almost by accident. “Our firm uses specialist software to air-test buildings for local authorities and the private sector, where we determine air quality and assist them to meet green energy targets," he said.

“Oxford approached us in 2019 after being made aware of our work in this area. If I’m being honest, our initial focus wasn’t coronavirus, it was on outside air pollution, but when we saw the technology we realised this was something profoundly different from anything else on the market and had the potential to provide some protection from the disease.”

Filters capture, kill and convert particles to a near-gaseous level of 0.003 microns. As the average Covid-19 particle is 0.12 microns these filters wipe out everything up to 40 times smaller than the virus. This means they can also remove a host of other pollutants such as nitrogen and sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide.

Mr McGurk said: “We’re not making extravagant claims about the product; it’s not a magic potion. Surfaces still need to be cleaned and it won’t stop an individual infecting another person up close. These machines though will clean out a room by continuously scrubbing the air by capturing it in the filter and converting it to something cleaner and safer.

“It has the potential to make our care homes much safer places for staff and residents throughout the course of coronavirus and afterwards. It will be a god-send for dentists and hospital-based medics. In the private sector it is ideal for the gyms, hairdressers and the car industry.”

McGurk, who is from the East End of Glasgow, is proud to employ local men and women and offer modern apprenticeships to young people.

He has also partnered with the Bridges Programmes, also based in Springburn, which supports the social, educational and economic integration of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants.

While the virus still rages and beyond, public buildings and offices are going to have to become much more aware of clean air issues. Managers will have a much greater responsibility for keeping their staff safe long after a vaccine emerges. All governments at both national and local level will be compelled to tighten up considerably current industry regulations on air quality.

Mr McGurk said: “We won’t make all 100 at-risk people in a room automatically safer but we’ll get a fair few of them. Pubs and restaurants using these will be able to offer a higher level of security for their customers. This is a breakthrough technology and we’re so proud to be working with such a world-renowned institution as Oxford University in providing a safer environment for people as they attempt to return to a state approaching normality. In enclosed spaces or where people are ill, we will clean the cubic meter of air around them better and for longer.”

Dr Tiancun Xiao, Research Fellow at Oxford University’s Inorganic Chemistry Department, who has helped develop the science and technology around the device, underlined its potential impact: “Recent scientific research shows that coronavirus can remain viable in the air for up to three hours and this can exacerbate underlying health conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, cardiac conditions and ultimately leading to premature death.

“From a clinical perspective using medical grade air purification systems has a positive impact by diluting concentrations of air pollutants and viruses quickly to safe levels.”