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Healthcare firms cash in on swine flu scare

Healthcare firms cash in on swine flu scare
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First Published: Tue, Sep 01 2009. 12 13 PM IST
Updated: Tue, Sep 01 2009. 12 13 PM IST
New Delhi: Cashing in on the alarming swine flu scare in the country, private companies are launching new products and advocating innovative ways to tackle the spread of the virus.
Apart from healthcare product manufacturers who have stepped up efforts to bank on the swine flu threat, many companies are targetting consumers by showcasing products meant to be used in households on a daily basis.
To control and inactivate the H1N1 or swine flu virus, Modicare, a direct selling company has introduced Modicare SteriClean Disinfectant cleaner containing 12% Benzalkonium chloride, an effective fungicide, germicide and virucide.
“As per the infection control guidelines published by Government of India, the use of disinfectants containing 5% Benzalkonium chloride is recommended to control the growth of the swine flu virus. Our offering SteriClean Disinfectant cleaner, is our contribution in the fight against the swine flu epidemic to create a virus free environment,” says K.K. Modi, chairman, Modicare Limited.
Adding that it can also be used to sanitize floors, walls, bed frames, tables, doors, doorknobs, telephone instruments and food contact surfaces, he says, “SteriClean provides disinfection against a wide spectrum of harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses.”
Available in 250 ml and 1000 ml packs, the product is priced at Rs64 and Rs218 respectively.
According to government reports, swine flu cases are continuing to increase and over a hundred people have died of the disease while over 3900 persons have tested positive for the H1N1 virus.
In a bid to attract customers who are struggling with the H1N1 phobia, Wardrobe, a chain of drycleaners, have recently introduced anti-microbial treatment to the clothes, which they claim can prevent the spread of H1N1 virus causing the flu.
“To prevent swine flu from spreading, it is best to get your clothes dry cleaned instead of cleaning them at home. We have increased the dosage of the anti-microbial medicine which kills the germs and virus,” says Dr A. Srivastava, executive director, Diamond Fabcare.
Wardrobe is a joint venture between Delhi based Diamond Fabcare and Australian dry cleaners Gordon Brown.
“Wardrobe uses RO water to dry clean the clothes and fabric friendly high level chemicals,” Srivastava adds. The virus spreads from one garment to another during wash in water, he says.
Medical experts, however, don’t subscribe to these innovations and say that these are just publicity stunts on the part of manufacturers.
“These companies are just doing it for their commercial interests. They are just banking on the hype. Dry-cleaning can’t prevent the spread of the virus. But people should take precautionary measures by using hand washes and other prescribed medicines,“ says Dr N.K. Pandey, president elect, Association of Surgeons, India.
The past two months has witnessed sharp rise in the demand of liquid soap, hand sanitizers and gels and consumers are not thinking twice before shelling out extra money for these products, says a chemist based in west Delhi.
“Now people enquire more about the effectiveness of hand sanitizers. Everyone suddenly have become conscious about swine flu and it has resulted in the surge in the demand of these hand sanitizers,” he says.
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First Published: Tue, Sep 01 2009. 12 13 PM IST
More Topics: Swine flu | H1N1 | Healthcare | Modicare | Wardrobe |