Covid-19 highlights need for efficient disinfection services

Disinfection work in a street in San Juan City. (File Photo)

MANILA – When the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) started to take a toll on the lives of people across the globe, one of the measures countries have implemented is the mass disinfection of establishments, roads, and public places.

With this in mind, former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) general manager Tim Orbos and son Gio developed the “Sanitary Anti-Viral Entry Point” or (Savepoint) – a technology that uses ultra-fine microns of water to repel insects, dust, smoke, and pollen. It is also known for introducing market innovations such as disinfecting cannons and decontamination tents.

It was created early January when news about the virus outbreak in Wuhan, China came out.

“People then were not really interested even if the virus was spreading so fast in China. But I knew it was just a matter of time,” Tim said in a statement sent to reporters Wednesday.

Sensing that it might affect other countries as well, they set up a team to see if there’s a need for such service for Filipinos.

With Gio researching on the equipment and methodology needed, Tim invested in misting machines, equipment, decontamination tents with local assemblers and distributors.

When the Department of Health (DOH) announced the country’s first case of Covid-19 last January 30, Savepoint hit the ground running and was immediately dispatched when a local transmission in San Juan City was also confirmed.

On March 7, the San Juan City government began disinfecting operations after it learned that a Covid-19 patient frequented a prayer hall in a shopping center in the city.

Since then, Savepoint has been commissioned to other hot zones where other sanitation companies were either apprehensive or ill-equipped to go.

Orbos also took pride that Savepoint is providing jobs for some individuals who are otherwise unemployed at this time when work is suspended due to the enhanced community quarantine.

From an initial team composed of 10 people, the group has now grown into a 200-person strong workforce.

Among the many offices and establishments it has served since the announcement of the first Covid-19 case were the Office of the President, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Social Welfare and Development, MMDA, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, several LGUs in nearby provinces and, just recently, DOH hospitals nationwide. It also serves the private sectors namely: SM group, Ortigas group, and First Holdings, among others.

While he readily admits that these were all copied from Wuhan, he said that it is more important to follow protocols set by the international health authorities.

“What is important is we follow the strict protocol and the guidelines set forth by the World Health Organization on disinfecting and decontamination while our disinfectants are in the list of the US Environmental Protection Agency on chemicals that combat Covid-19 and similar to the ones exercised as well by the Singapore Ministry of Health.”

This technology also brought in other strategic partners such as young telecommunications and information technology entrepreneurs Jojo Madatu and Konrad Chua, and logistics king, Alberto Lina.

“With them, Savepoint can now cater to the demand for us to go into other areas in the Philippines” added Orbos.

It will soon operate in Cebu, Davao, and Clark. Talks are also in progress on replication of the Savepoint technology in other countries.

Orbos said that it’s time to invest in decontaminating technologies as the viruses won’t be gone anytime soon.

“Whether we like it or not, the dangers of Covid-19 and other viruses will be here to stay. Disinfecting our environment and protecting our way of life will now be our new normal,” he stressed. (PNA)