The innovative brothers displaying their work.

Palestinian innovation as a tool against COVID-19

By Zahran Maali

JENIN, March 28, 2020 (WAFA) — Inside the ‘engineering group workshop’ in the town of Jabaa in the north of the West Bank, Yazid and Mufeed Alawneh, two brothers and engineers, were able to develop a sterilization device that helps the residents of their town and neighboring villages resist the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Mufeed, 22, a fourth-year student of mechanical engineering at Palestine Technical University — Kadoorie, told WAFA that the innovative device is composed of a 360-degree mechanical steering system, a water spray system and a pneumatic propulsion system, altogether providing a perfect disinfection result.

“This system disseminates the sterilizing material and gives it impetus because of the pneumatic system, resulting in a homogeneous and complete propulsion,” says Mufeed.

Yazid, 24, a graduate of Mechatronics Engineering — which combines electrical, computer and mechanical engineering — from the same university, says the device works through a diesel generator, and has been attached to a vehicle that tours the streets of the town for sterilization against coronavirus. He says the device was their own idea, and was created with the support of the town’s emergency committee.

“The device contains two tanks with a capacity of 300 liters of antiseptic material, enough to sterilize a distance of four kilometers per one tour. It has cost us around 5,000 shekels ($1,400),” Yazid adds.

He points out that over the past three days, they have been working in shifts, where both go to spray sterilizers on three shifts in the morning, evening and night.

The two brothers emphasize the fact that with the current global health crisis resulting from the novel virus, volunteering could be a key instrument to fight the spread of the disease, calling for all people to employ their own talent in the efforts to contain the disease.

Both engineers also confirm their readiness as part of what they call “the engineering group” to produce and develop more devices in a record time and to serve other areas and towns in Palestine.

Radi Ghannam, head of the emergency committee in the town, explains the new device reduces the efforts needed in the sterilization process, as it dispenses with the volunteers who were required to carry sprinklers on their back for sterilization, and also reduces the costs necessary for sterilization.

He stresses the role of the youth at this critical stage and the need to join hands to fight the spread of the virus.

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