• Monday, May 23, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

Made-in-Gaza device fights coronavirus spread

  • Published at 09:15 am October 29th, 2020
Gaza Covid-19 device
Palestinian students leave their school as schools partially reopened amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, in Gaza City October 27, 2020. REUTERS

Dire economic conditions, a poor healthcare system and chronic electricity shortages made Gaza especially vulnerable to the virus

Entering a Gaza City restaurant, customers are welcomed by a multi-tasking disinfection machine designed by a Palestinian businesswoman to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the crisis-hit enclave.

Spraying hand sanitizer while taking the person's temperature, the two-metre (around 6.6-foot) high device offers an all-in-one disinfection experience.

If the body temperature is too high, a red signal will light up. Otherwise the restaurant door opens automatically to allow the customer in.

"In Gaza, we have basic devices imported from abroad to measure temperatures, and others to disinfect, but our devices combine multiple technologies in one," creator Heba al-Hindi told AFP.

The densely-populated Palestinian coastal enclave, under an Israeli-enforced blockade since 2007, was initially largely spared by Covid-19 when the pandemic broke out.

But dire economic conditions, a poor healthcare system and chronic electricity shortages, partly caused by the blockade, made Gaza especially vulnerable to the virus.

Confirmed infections in the enclave have topped 5,440 with 31 deaths.

"When Covid-19 reached the Gaza Strip, I told myself I had to find a way to fight its spread," said Hindi.

"Then came the idea of creating a sanitizer and I designed these smart machines."     

Also read: Gilead cuts 2020 sales outlook as Covid-19 drug remdesivir falls short

Something new in Gaza

The 37-year-old mathematics graduate heads Innovation Makers, a company that has created eight anti-Covid products, including a blue and yellow robot-like machine to appeal to children.

She said the project makes money but that "our focus is not on the profit".

"We're focusing on a Palestinian product and a Palestinian invention from within the siege in the Gaza Strip, to show this invention to the world."

Innovation Makers has sold dozens of machines to supermarkets, bakeries and restaurants, for between $550 and $1,500 depending on the technology used.

The products have been patented by the Ramallah-based Palestinian economy ministry, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. 

The company finds spare parts for the devices on the local market but is barred by Israel from exporting the "Made in Gaza" creations, slowing down Hindi's ambitions.

Management at the Taboun restaurant is delighted with the disinfecting machines they bought.

"The device is remarkable," said Matar Matar, hospitality manager at the Gaza eatery, adding that he found out about it on social media.

Customers are happy to see that "something new is being developed in Gaza," he said.

Computer engineer Mohammad Natat, 23, said he was proud to be part of the team that created the machine.

"I had the opportunity to take part in this work and be creative in my field," he said. "It was a huge chance to have some work."

Around half of Gaza's population is out of work, two thirds of them young people, according to the World Bank, and more than two thirds of residents depend on humanitarian aid.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail