The possibility of learning modules to become a mode for transmitting COVID-19 virus is a valid concern for the school administration of Don Juan Dela Cruz Central Elementary School. With this, the school created the Modified Autoclave Room to have an efficient and effective way to disinfect learning modules sent out and retrieved from the learners.
Since the administration is aware that alcohol disinfection may not be a wise move since it damps the dry material, Jayreen B. Pabi, its school principal, made sure they will joyfully greet the new school year with WELCOME (We Embrace Learning Continuity and Offer the best Modality for Everyone’s Safety).
While most people may not have heard about autoclave before, it has a wide use in many industries. Basically, an autoclave is a pressure chamber used to carry out any process that requires highly elevated temperature and pressure, such as medical waste disposal, and/or medical equipment sterilization.
An autoclave is a pressure chamber that is used to sterilize equipment and supplies. When these items are placed inside the autoclave, they are exposed to high temperature steam (usually around 132 degrees Celsius or 270 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 20 minutes.
Sources of UV sterilization can kill over 99 percent of viruses, bacteria, and fungi in an extremely short amount of time. For these reasons, the school initiated the idea of a Modified Autoclave Room where a wooden disinfection box with UV-C light inside produces a type of short-wavelength measurement of 260-280 nanometer commonly used in disinfection that breaks apart genetic material in germs.
With a handful of other parts, including reflective material to line the wooden disinfection box which will contain the light emitted and wired from electrical source, the Modified Autoclave Room is built with this simple tools by teachers in the school setting.
The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine reported that ultraviolet light could kill the coronavirus.
“UV light has been shown to destroy other coronaviruses, so it will probably work on the novel coronavirus,” the website reads.
Since COVID-19 can live on certain surfaces for up to three days and can travel through the air, germicidal UV is a great tool to disinfect air and surfaces. Although the science behind germicidal UV has been around for a long time, it hasn’t been widely used until recently.
Elvin Nobleza Palao, physical facilities coordinator of the school, said he devised the equipment based on research, studies, and recommendation. He allots time to check and maintain the facilities to ensure that these become usable and beneficial.
For Don Juan Dela Cruz CES, this Modified Autoclave Room was made to have an efficient and effective way to disinfect learning modules sent out and retrieved from the learners.
Update of the story:
This innovation started from Ramon F. Magsaysay ES.
Bernardo L. Pañares, the school head, got the idea after the teaching and non-teaching personnel of Daliaon District donated some stuff to the front liners of Southern Philippines Medical Center in April.
Pañares witnessed how they used the small amount donated to construct a DIY UV disinfection box for their PPEs and N95 masks. This prompted him to think on the possibility of disinfecting their own modules since these would be prone to exposure to the virus.
“I started to do some research and I was convinced that it could be done,” he said.
So, he showcased this innovation during the dry run and simulation and shared these great ideas to other schools.