Clayton Judd decontaminating an RFDS plane.
Clayton Judd decontaminating an RFDS plane.

‘Kills coronavirus in 30 seconds’: RFDS’s powerful new spray

QUEENSLAND'S Royal Flying Doctor Service has responded to an unprecedented situation with powerful, new equipment.

Although the service was always equipped to transfer infectious patients, because of COVID-19 it has now sourced a decontaminant strong enough to kill the coronavirus without harming passengers or flying equipment.

RFDS Operations state manager Charlton Campbell said the amount of time required for aircraft decontamination influenced the decision to upgrade.

"Our aircraft need to be available at a moment's notice," he said.

"Therefore, we had to rule out any agents containing chemical irritants which may cause inflammation or irritation to the skin, eyes or airways. We simply don't have the luxury of time to wait an extended period for the aircraft to be ready for re-use.

"Because we are working within a confined space, we need to be especially mindful of the effect the chemical agent may have on our electronic systems as well as those travelling within the craft on its return journey."

Mr Campbell said extensive research and collaboration with RFDS colleagues in Western Australia led his team to Nanocyn, an agent produced by the company MicroSafe.

"This agent is non-toxic and non-corrosive so it is extremely safe for both the aircraft and future passengers. It is also effective at killing bacteria and viruses such as coronavirus within 30 seconds," he said.

"It's unique in the fact it replicates the body's own defence mechanism against pathogens, destroying them by a purely natural physical process."

The chemical is sprayed on the aircraft and dries within 30 minutes.

All RFDS bases in Queensland are now equipped with the agent.

"To date, the RFDS (Queensland Section) has transported 35 patients with COVID-19 precautions, while more than 1100 confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients have been transported around Australia," Mr Campbell said.

"Despite the challenging circumstances, the RFDS will continue to provide vital emergency medical and primary healthcare services for regional, rural and remote Australians."

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