ALERT: “Covid is gone until Rte news says it’s back”

by Rachel Cunningham
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By Rachel Cunningham

The CEO of an Irish technology company has cautioned that: “Covid-19 is gone until rte news says it’s back”.

This warning emerged as Rodney Cadden, the CEO and founder of Hytech Ireland, based in Malahide and Monaco, spoke to the Dublin Gazette about the technology he is providing to reduce acquired infection rates of Covid-19 in schools.

“We don’t use any fancy chemicals, we use blue light or UV light. We’re the first company in Ireland to have six schools on our books using the technology”, Mr Cadden said.

“UV has been around for hundreds of years. In the 1800s, it was used in classrooms in the United States to reduce acquired infections of measles”, he explained, adding: “The piece of kit that we’re sending into schools in Ireland was some of the first kit that was sent into Wuhan.”

The company worked with Malahide Community School to put its claims to the test through the

BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. “Malahide Community School was the first in Ireland to take the technology and come third in the BT Young Scientist in December 2021, which was a fantastic achievement. Air samples and surface swabs were taken independently to prove beyond all doubt that our system removed SARS-2 in the air and on surfaces”, he said.

He conjectured that a return to schools with no mandatory mask wearing this September would likely lead to a surge in cases and underscored the peace of mind that his product provides for teachers and parents following Covid-19 classroom outbreaks.

“Teachers will know that a classroom has got a blast of technology normally used in hospital theatres, so that they can be more comfortable going back in to teach, and the parents are more comfortable because their child has a lower risk of getting the coronavirus. We’re pretty much future-proofing what could happen down the line”, he claimed.

The CEO highlighted the accessibility, in addition to the efficacy of the product, stating: “We’ve partnered with a company [RFC security] that is already supplying cleaning services to schools, that’s a fixed cost. For the first time ever, each school will be able to access this equipment, which is simply pushed into the middle of the classroom floor during a lunch break to disinfect the air and surfaces using UVC light. It can then be switched off and moved elsewhere for use.”

Instead of using four or five people who do 160 hours a week of cleaning, he explained, the company’s machine could turn a three-hour deep clean into a job of approximately 15 minutes.

“If a child in a primary school has Covid-19, that evening we know it takes three hours to do a deep clean on that classroom. In 15 minutes, our technology can provide, within a 75m2 classroom, clinical standard cleaning.

“We’re taking equipment that is used to sterilise theatres in hospitals and we’re actually bringing it into basically mainstream use. We’re providing something for the first time in Ireland. No one has done what we’re trying to do, we’re really trying to change the game with this technology”, Mr Cadden added.

“We’re looking to be in ten per cent of schools in the Republic of Ireland by 2023; that’s 75 schools. It’s first come, first served.We’ll provide equipment free on loan to schools for a period that satisfies them”, he concluded.

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