GAZA CITY, Palestine 

Soon after the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, managing the entry of people to the workplaces appeared a big challenge.

Many offices had to post special staff at their gates to ensure sterilization, note down temperatures, prevent the entry of infected people, and eliminate contaminated surfaces.

To overcome this herculean task, a Palestinian lady Hiba Hindi, 37, living in besieged Gaza has come out with a multitask smart sterilization machine, now being used by various offices in the region to keep the coronavirus away.

The machine conducts nine orders within 3-5 seconds on people entering public places.

The offices of international organizations like the UN, UNESCO, International Eye Hospital besides big bakeries in the Gaza Strip have installed this machine at their entrances.

Before entry, it measures body temperate, ejects sanitizer to clean hands, sprays ethanol, and chlorine on the body and feet. The designers have made it simple so that children and the elderly can handle it without any hassle.

“Using this machine is easy. It can do the job of three workers within a few seconds. It is environmentally friendly, saves energy, and withstands electricity interruptions in Gaza.” Hindi told Anadolu Agency.

She further said the machine can be linked to the smartphone to notify about the sterilization materials stored in the machine and alerts about its refilling. The machine contains four sensors, designed indigenously by a team in Gaza, although the region suffers from Israeli blockades since 2007.

“The blockade made our job difficult and complicated. But we continued and made all sensors for this machine indigenously in Gaza” said Hindi, who is a physical education teacher and a social activist.

Her team unveiled the first version of this machine three months ago and they are still improving upon it, given feedback from customers.

Ensures privacy

A sensor alerts door of the office, if someone goes ahead without sterilization. It also gives an alarm, if anyone has a higher body temperature.

“We have ensured the privacy of individuals, so the alarm is sent to administration privately,” she said.

Many international organizations, hospitals, schools, and markets in Gaza have installed the machine at their entrances to stem the spread of COVID-19.

“I am very proud to see my innovation being used at the international offices based in Gaza. It is a great success for me and my team,” she added.

A university graduate and a mother, Hindi and her team are looking to find partners to improve their invention and to market it to the world. She worked with a team of four people to design and then shape this machine.

“We spent many days and nights working and sleeping at the site to finish the product. We were connected with health care providers all the time to match machine with the international standards and ensure medical sterilization and safety of the substances that we used,” she said.

According to the Palestine Health Ministry, more than 8000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Gaza with 30 deaths.

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