James Gallagher in BBC:
Scientists have developed a virus-killing plastic that could make it harder for bugs, including Covid, to spread in hospitals and care homes. The team at Queen’s University Belfast say their plastic film is cheap and could be fashioned into protective gear such as aprons. It works by reacting with light to release chemicals that break the virus. The study showed it could kill viruses by the million, even in tough species which linger on clothes and surfaces. The research was accelerated as part of the UK’s response to the Covid pandemic. Studies had shown the Covid virus was able to survive for up to 72 hours on some surfaces, but that is nothing compared to sturdier species. Norovirus – known as the winter vomiting bug – can survive outside the body for two weeks while waiting for somebody new to infect. The team of chemists and virologists investigated self-sterilising materials that reduce the risk of contaminated surfaces spreading infections.