The coronavirus epidemic is continuing to take its toll on health authorities, and presenting unexpected commercial opportunities, after the Singapore National Environmental Agency (NEA) notified Aeris Environmental (ASX: AEI) that its proprietary hospital-grade disinfectant Aeris Active has been added to a list of approved general products for the disinfection of the coronavirus (COVID-19) virus.
The NEA is a statutory board under the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources in Singapore, currently responsible for improving and sustaining the environment in Singapore and for maintaining public health.
According to the NEA’s policies, various products are deemed as necessary for a variety of functions within the medical industry.
Aeris said it is working closely with authorities in Asia and the APAC region to provide technical support, advice and products to assist with the containment of the current epidemic.
Moreover, Aeris says its Active product contains a “dual active biocide system” that provides a broad spectrum viricidal, bactericidal and fungicidal efficacy together with proprietary residual protection that claims to offer long-term protection of at-risk surfaces for up to seven days.
“Aeris is currently scaling up production, redirecting its manufacturing capacity, in the near term, to multiple Australian manufacturing sites. This is to support the needs of its customers, and the growing demand in China and the APAC region,” the company said.
In a quarterly update published earlier this month, Aeris said that demand in China for its disinfectants was “scaling significantly” due to the coronavirus.
The virus was first reported in Wuhan, China on 31 December 2019 but has gone on to infect over 70,000 people and killing almost 1,800.
Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs and avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness.
Most reported cases have originated in China with only a handful of cases being reported overseas.
Despite the lack of growth in reported cases, Western health authorities have responded by setting up precautionary quarantine procedures and screening travellers at major ports.
Given the focus of the disease in China, it has been Chinese health authorities that have been most challenged by the epidemic and what has led to a surge in demand for medical equipment in the region.
Aeris shares were up 18% to $0.60 in morning trade.