Potential of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation for infection prevention and control of SARS-CoV-2 in South Africa
The response to the challenges arising during the COVID-19 pandemic has seen the rapid implementation of innovative technological solutions which have been built on established knowledge and resources. This has been reflected in infection, prevention and control practices (IPC) to minimise the transmission of the disease. In this article, we review ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) as such a technology. We illustrate the way it has traditionally been used in airborne and surface disinfection strategies, and how it has, more recently, been adapted. UVGI has been widely used as an environmental IPC measure against tuberculosis in South Africa, though challenges have been experienced in the implementation of the technology in public healthcare facilities. This has resulted in the development of a knowledge and infrastructure base. We posit that, given the established UVGI resources in South Africa, the technology may be a viable environmental IPC solution for the COVID-19 period and beyond.
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