A number of cruise lines have started consulting with high tech companies offering infrared cameras and UV lights to detect and kill coronavirus.
Multiple companies are moving ahead and have already started consultations with numerous cruise companies.
Infrared Cameras Inc announced in a press statement, that they would be partnering with Carnival Cruise Lines to screen passenger and crew member temperatures via thermal camera systems.
David Brenner, the director at the Columbia University Centre for Radiological Research told USA Today that far-UVC has the capability to scramble the genetic material of viruses such as coronavirus, effectively sanitising the air, surfaces or even people.
The technology has been known to kill bacteria and viruses for the last century. And for the last two to three decades, the light has been used to disinfect surgical theatres or hospital wards.
“Ultraviolet light in general has been used to kill bacteria and viruses for a very long time,” he said.
“It’s been in use to kill viruses and sterilize locations when people aren’t around, which is not ideal because even if you have a sterilized location at 9 o’clock in the morning and people start coming in, they’re potentially gong to contaminate.”
Fred Maxik, the founder and CTO of Healthe, a company that creates sanitation structures with far-UVC light, said that when the wavelength is too long, it can burn you. But at the right length, the far-UVC light can’t damage human cells and disinfects while not harming people.
And Mr Maxik said that Healthe is trying to find a way to implement far-UVC to sanitise people and spaces on ships.
“There are a number of areas you can imagine right away,” Mr Maxik told USA Today.
“Embarkation areas, high-traffic areas around concierge desks, greeting counters, larger gathering spaces, places people get together in small groups like elevators or vestibules – those would be the obvious first places.”
He said it would work like airport security checks, where passengers would walk through a portal like entryway that would emit the far-UVC rays to sanitise those getting on the ship. Passengers would walk in, raise their arms and then slowly do a full turn, and walk through.
The idea is that the portal will “clean the pathogens off your clothing, off your skin, off any packaging you might carry with you as you walk into the space,” he said.
“And it does so by essentially disrupting the genetic material of those pathogens.”
Mr Maxik said he is already in talks with a few major cruise companies, but told USA Today he was unable to reveal which lines he is consulting with.
The Miami Herald also reported this week that the CDC has a new system which will assign each cruise ship with a colour to signify its status.