Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Robots to kill virus at London station

Robots 1

LONDON, SEPTEMBER 24: Robots that can kill the Coronavirus with ultraviolet light have been brought in at one of London’s biggest train stations, St Pancras International, as it tries to restore customer confidence in the safety of travel hubs.
Stations suffered a blow on Tuesday when Prime Minister Boris Johnson told people to work from home again where possible and also ordered restaurants and bars to close early to tackle a second wave of COVID-19 infections.
St Pancras International saw 34.6 million entries and exits in the year to March 2019, the most recently available yearly data from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), making it the ninth-busiest station in the country. The ORR has said the pandemic caused a dramatic fall in rail use.
“The main thing for us is to get the confidence of customers,” said Jay Newton, head of stations engineering and operations for the high speed, one-channel tunnel rail link.
“We are the first train station to bring this type of technology in because we want to allow people to use a train station with confidence, use our retail units with confidence, and slowly get back to a normal way,” he told Reuters.
The robots use ultraviolet light to sweep large areas without the need for chemical disinfectant, the station said, adding the technology could kill nearly 100% of bacteria and viruses ~ including the Coronavirus ~ on surfaces and in the surrounding air in minutes.
St Pancras International is the terminus of the Eurostar link to Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam, and also shares links to 6 London Underground lines with neighbouring King’s Cross station.
Job security pledge
Prime Minister Johnson on Wednesday promised to help companies try to save jobs put at risk by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These are indeed tough times, and I have no doubt that many businesses, many employees are feeling a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty, and we will do our level best to protect them throughout this period,” Johnson said in Parliament.
He said Britain had a massive package of measure to protect jobs, and would be looking at creative ways to do more. “We’re looking at a massive package of investment now in jobs and growth… in the short, medium and long term,” he told Parliament.
He said “of course” the Government was also going to come forward with more measures, but ruled out a simple extension of the existing furlough scheme. (Agencies)