It’s official; a second wave of coronavirus has now reached the UK. But as we all begin to batten down the hatches and prepare for a long winter ahead with more time spent at home than out of it, the question on everyone’s lips is whether will we have to learn to live with coronavirus or if there is something that we’re missing in the battle against it that is seeing other nations fair far better.

While rates in the UK have soared to figures at a level that were last seen before the March national lockdown, nations like China and Japan have seen them plummet into double digits for weeks now. In fact China, where the virus originated in its Wuhan epicentre last year before spreading around the world to become a pandemic, has seen infection numbers as low as 13 each day this week. Elsewhere, Singapore reported its first day with zero infections on Friday. But what are these nations, some of the most heavily populated in the world, doing that we aren’t?

Rewind to earlier this year and a sight that came to signal that something was very wrong in the trajectory of coronavirus was the scene of hazmat-suited men spraying from cylinders on the streets of China and Japan. In Uruguay too, residents were ordered to stay in their home while the streets, restaurants, bars, trains, pavements and all, were sprayed with hypochlorous acid. Fast forward to today and that same potent disinfectant appears to have stepped in to help fight Covid-19 in a way we’ve missed out on closer to home. To put its success into perspective, new infections in Uruguay totalled 33 on 16 October 2020, while China reported just 13. On the same day, England reported 15,635 new cases.

But what is hypochlorous acid and how could it help curb coronavirus cases and help unlock us from the regional shutdowns set to spread across the country in coming weeks?

Better known as HOCI, the disinfectant hypochlorous acid is 100 times more effective than bleach. However, while it kills viruses and germs instantly, it’s free of additives, non-toxic and completely safe for humans. So safe in fact, that it can be misted onto clothing, surfaces and even hands. Scientists and healthcare experts are convinced that hypochlorous acid could be key to curtailing the spread of coronavirus in the UK and companies like Liquid Medical Ltd are on standby to fulfil the need.

Founded in London, Liquid Medical Ltd is a manufacturer of hospital-grade, water-based, disinfection and sanitising solutions using hypochlorous acid. The ready-to-use solutions created by the company are designed for professional use, like the indoor and outdoor misting which is seemingly halting coronavirus in its tracks abroad.

Organic, non-toxic and irritant-free, the company creates its Disinfectant Clear 200 hand and surface products with a focus on sustainability and environmental care throughout the process. It’s strategies includes the use of recycled packaging, working with suppliers who have a clear environmental plan, such as the use of renewable energy and environmentally friendly transport policies.

So, how could HOCI help us return to normality as we’ve seen China do so quickly, despite equally high infection rates at the start of the pandemic?

HOCI like that produced by Liquid Medical Ltd has many uses including a process called ‘fogging’. As seen in South Korea, another country that has seen miniscule infection rates, fogging or ‘misting’ may see whole areas lightly sprayed with a coat of the disinfectant. In other cases, people are misted via walk-through portable booths, the disinfectant’s safety means it can be used to coat their clothes, hair and even skin without any risk of irritation. As research begins to show that the coronavirus remains present on surfaces for days, this method of killing it immediately upon contact has never seemed to make so much sense as it does now.

Hand-held fogging machines can also be used to fog indoor spaces like restaurants, bars and gyms; some of the businesses currently in the midst of being hit hardest by a new wave of lockdowns and closures.

Despite being pH neutral and non-irritating, HOCL is the most powerful disinfectant in the chlorine family, and companies like Liquid Medical Ltd bring expertise in how to use the disinfectant to safely combat coronavirus. They advise using it as a hand sanitiser and spraying onto surfaces to sanitise completely without streaks, something that is especially necessary for office buildings and premises with constant contact areas like handrails and doors.

Back in March, the DVLA gave motorists the option to delay MOTs. Now, as the car industries look to make up for lost revenue, HOClmisting has become a failsafe way to disinfect car interiors to allow for contactless car servicing, MOTs and safe new car sales. It’s allowing vehicle hire operations to continue and companies that need require staff to share vehicles to keep working without risk to employees.

For the largest areas, Disinfectant Clear 200 can be sprayed from automatic sprayers more usually used for garden pesticides. Capable of covering a large area quickly, the heavy duty disinfectant could clean trains, subways and buses thoroughly in minutes, leaving commuting to the office a more viable option than it has been for more than six months.

Used in hospitals, it could mean the end of a ban on visitors, something which has left many coronavirus patients isolated when they need loved ones the most.

The best thing about HOCl is that it is readily available now, making it a more likely remedy to the issue and way of getting back to our day-to-day lives than a vaccine currently looks to be, with the latter still seemingly months away from becoming widely available.

Author's Bio: 

Writer and blogger.