The antimicrobial copper coating has been applied on door handles in 300 coaches to provide long-term effectiveness against viruses, Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Wednesday.
His reply in Lok Sabha came in response to a question by BJP MP Rajdeep Roy, who sought to know whether the government was aware of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's announcement in February 2021 that certain copper alloys provided long-term effectiveness against viruses, including COVID-19.
“Antimicrobial copper coating has been provided in 300 coaches by Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala. The copper coating is given on the entrance handrail and handle for the vestibule area,” he said during Question Hour. Vaishnaw, however, said the use of copper on a large scale was not economically viable.
The minister said to control the spread of infections during times such as the current pandemic, all zonal Railways had been advised to use Sodium Hypochlorite (1 per cent), including disinfection of the contact area, on fittings such as seat with rexine covers, door handles and toilet, and toilet fittings such as door handles and latches, water taps, handrails, switches, etc. and for cleaning and sanitization of the coach when a COVID-19-infected or suspected passenger travelled.
With PTI inputs.