Efforts in KU’s laboratory to tackle Kashmir’s sanitizer shortfall - JK News Live


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Saturday, April 11, 2020

Efforts in KU’s laboratory to tackle Kashmir’s sanitizer shortfall

Srinagar: The panic-buying triggered on an account of the spread of COVID-19 infection has predictably caused a shortage of essentials in the market and the exuberant price of fewer hand sanitizers is no exception.

And the situation is no different in Kashmir; however, there is a silver lining in the darkening cloud of the pandemic. A Professor of Chemistry at University of Kashmir (KU), Dr. Altaf Pandit is at the helm of an initiative to help ease the situation by synthesizing hand sanitizers in the University’s laboratory.

In mid-March, after detecting first COVID-19 patient, Kashmir went in partial lockdown. All educational institutions were closed and public movement was restricted. A week later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown.

Residing in the University campus allows Dr. Pandit access to the laboratory. His initiative, he says, took off a week ago in the wake of the essential commodity falling short of supply during the lockdown. After due discussion, his “colleagues agreed but the problem was that people were not around”, he said.

In order to actualize the intention, he collaborated with his colleagues who are beyond physical reach at this point and managed to acquire Isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and glycerol of analytical grade purity — the primary ingredients to produce hand sanitizers.

In the University’s laboratory, Dr. Pandit with the assistance of Arshid Bashir, a Ph.D. scholar under him who was available just one day, made the first batch of sanitizers. “Initially we produced about thirty liters,” he told The Kashmir Walla. “Now we will be procuring 200 liters.”

Out of the total production, some were distributed among their security staff and others within the campus. A part of the stock is reserved to be sent to the quarantine centre in their Zakura campus, Srinagar.

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