CHANDIGARH,23.03.20- University Institute of Engg & Technology has made homemade sanitizer for use at Panjab University. Alcohol based sanitizers are very effective and are being distributed at PU by UIET. This simply contains 60% ethanol as the active ingredient. Since ethanol can be abused, this is a regulated item. As an alternative, 50% isopropanol is equally good. These are being given in 200 ml plastic wash bottles to users in the University. The preparation may also be added with 5% glycerin to give a moisturizing effect and may also include organic colors for aesthetics. However, these are not functionally important for the core purpose.

The UIET at PU has important guideline to offer in this respect. Periodical use of sanitizers or a thorough hand wash with detergents is the most important first defense against acquiring and spreading the Covid 19 virus. It is equally important to also sanitize the surfaces and objects in public contact. These include door handles, staircase panels, lift doors, surfaces of tables and chairs, pens, mobile phones etc. that we keep touching routinely. In all these cases, sanitizers should be applied periodically. Wiping the surfaces with sanitizers is fundamental to safety against spread of the virus.

Ethanol or isopropanol of industrial quality cost Rs 50 to 100/- per litre. These can be used to clean surfaces. As a cheaper alternative, sodium hypochlorite (0.05 to 0.5% bleaching powder) can be used to wipe surfaces. These are available from any chemicals shop that supplies industrial and laboratory chemicals.

PU can train community on preparing these sanitizers. Sneezing or coughing into hands is cleaned better with liberal application of soap and water, rather than a brief jet of sanitizer. This is because the cough contains the virus embedded in mucous and that can be removed better under a continuous flow of water with detergent.