On Thursday BIUST in Palapye, led by its Vice Chancellor, Professor Otlogetswe Totolo, lived up to its promise of manufacturing hand wash soaps to intervene against the corona virus, when they donated the products to Serowe community, where 4 000 units of liquid soaps were donated, as well as 1700 bars of soap, for households.
It has been found that frequent washing of hands with soap can keep the virus at bay, as it is transmitted when people get into contact with surfaces which host the virus.
According to Prof Totolo the soaps were manufactured at BIUST laboratories by their students and academic staff. BIUST have also successfully manufactured alcohol based hand sanitizers according to international standards. However, bottlenecks at the local quality standards body is understood to be delaying the distribution of the products.
The BIUST soap project has been alive at the University for the last three years. This year with the emergence of the corona virus BIUST teamed up with the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), for provision of much needed equipment for adequate production of both the bar and liquid soaps LEA came on board as a partner.
Two weeks ago BIUST also unveiled another Covid 19 intervention in the form of a real-time dashboard for Botswana, which provides an up to the minute, covid 19 situation in Botswana, using graphs, diagrams, maps, to capture the geographical spread of the virus, its genesis in terms of date of discovery, progressions of the virus through time, as well as numbers and geographical spread of quarantined people, number of deaths, recoveries so far. The BIUST dashboard can also be used to see corona free zones, red zones, and is ideal for anyone interested in following the impact or extent of spread of the virus. The dashboard was developed in collaboration with iThemba Labs and the University of Witwatersrand (WITS).
Another Covid intervention project developed and released by BIUST is the drone sprayers, which was developed in conjunction with the Botswana Defence Force (BDF). The purpose of the drone sprayers is to disinfect the air of open public spaces in the time of COVID-19 Pandemic. At this time of lockdown, critical open spaces in Botswana are where there will be unavoidable human activities such as hospitals, grocery stores, gasoline stations and quarantine facilities. The drone sprayer will help clean the air from the unseen corona virus in these areas. The drones have already commenced work; having fumigated at the ever-busy Palapye Primary Hospital and the Palapye Administration Authority offices that have become a hotspot due to permits issuance that attract masses of people daily.