APS Group, an export-oriented apparel manufacturer in Bangladesh, has developed a knit fabric with anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and water-repellent properties that, the company claims, can kill coronavirus. The fabric has been developed in collaboration with Swiss textile firm HeiQ and Zaber and Zubair Fabrics, a sister concern of apparel exporter Noman Group.

HeiQ Viroblock technology has been used to develop the fabric. HeiQ Viroblock treated textiles help reduce the risk of viral and bacterial persistence on dry inanimate surfaces, lowering the potential for transmission, Bangla media reports quoted APS Group chairman Hasib Uddin as saying.

Some time back, Zaber and Zubair Fabrics had also announced developing woven fabrics that can kill coronavirus.

HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03 is suitable for face masks, especially respirators like N95, FFP2 or equivalent, medical non-woven surgical gowns, scrubs, drapes, curtains, clothing products, and home textiles.

The technology used on the antiviral fabric is a unique combination of advanced silver and fatty spherical vesicle technologies. The silver delivers anti-viral and anti-bacterial effects by attracting oppositely-charged viruses and binding it permanently to their sulphur groups. Meanwhile, the vesicle works as a booster that helps to deplete the viral membrane in seconds, destroying the virus.

This technology has gone through extensive good laboratory practice (GLP) tests on the anti-viral efficacy against a varied set of viruses, including the human coronavirus 229E.

The tests have been performed by Microbiotest, a division of Microbac Laboratories in the United States.

APS Group has already developed a two-layered face-mask using the fabric which is washable at least up to 20 times, said Hasib. Water droplets cannot penetrate the top layer.

The company is planning to sell the face mask in Dhaka soon