In a new breakthrough in the fight against COVID-19, Japanese researchers have claimed to found a way to neutralize the COVID-19 virus. Scientists at Fujita Health University told a news conference they had proven that ozone gas in concentrations of 0.05 to 0.1 parts per million (ppm) could kill the virus. These concentration levels are considered harmless to humans.

“Transmission of the novel coronavirus may be reduced by continuous, low-concentration ozone treatment, even in environments where people are present, using this kind of system. We found it to be particularly effective in high-humidity conditions.”

said lead researcher Takayuki Murata

The experiment used an ozone generator in a sealed chamber with a sample of SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The potency of the virus declined by more than 90% when subjected to low level ozone for 10 hours.

Ozone, a type of oxygen molecule, is known to inactivate many pathogens. Previous experiments have shown that high concentrations, between 1-6 ppm, were effective against the coronavirus but potentially toxic to humans.

Earlier, a study at the Georgia Institute of Technology showed that ozone may be effective in disinfecting gowns, goggles and other medical protective equipment. Fujita Medical University Hospital has already installed ozone generators to reduce infection in waiting areas and patient rooms.

This study could provide a major boost to host the delayed summer olympics in Tokyo next year, after the event fell through this year due to the pandemic. Japan has ordered around 521 million doses of five different vaccines to ensure the games go ahead smoothly next year. These include global arrangements with drugmakers like Pfizer and AstraZeneca, as well as local deals with Shionogi & Co.

Russia had recently approved world’s first Covid-19 vaccine and is now in the Phase 3 trial of the vaccine. India’s Serum Institute of India(SII) too was given the green light for conducting the Phase 2 and 3 human clinical trials of the Covid-19 vaccine in India. Oxford University in collaboration with AstraZeneca is manufacturing the vaccine.

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