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There With You: Hazmat-suited heroes take disinfectant guns to Newham care homes

PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 March 2020

The Manor Park family disinfecting an office this week. Picture: Phillipa Haines

The Manor Park family disinfecting an office this week. Picture: Phillipa Haines

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A Newham family business is offering to disinfect four care homes in the borough free of charge.

The team at work in London this week. Picture: Phillipa HainesThe team at work in London this week. Picture: Phillipa Haines

Phillipa Haines, from Manor Park, and her husband ran an office cleaning company for four years before the outbreak of coronavirus.

The firm uses electrostatic guns to charge backpacks filled with a high-level surface disinfectant with electricity, before spraying the chemical over a given area.

The chemical then ‘wraps’ itself around the target due to the electric charge.

The unusual method is thought to be up to six times more effective against bacteria and viruses than ordinary disinfecting.

Les Haines, 93, is self-isolating in East Ham and has had his house treated. Picture: Phillipa HainesLes Haines, 93, is self-isolating in East Ham and has had his house treated. Picture: Phillipa Haines

Rebranded as Vira-way, the family are now offering to treat four care homes in Newham for free.

Mrs Haines, 32, said the gesture was prompted by the plight of her 93-year-old grandfather, Leslie Haynes, who is self-isolating in East Ham.

“My grandfather has lived in Newham his whole life,” she said. “It upset me last week because I usually take him to church on a Sunday morning and he’s scared of being around people now.

“He’s in social isolation and that breaks my heart. I want people in care homes to still be able to continue with visits.”

Mr Haines, a retired bus chief inspector, used to chair the Royal British Legion’s South West Ham Branch and now cannot get to meetings.

He was due to speak to a primary school in Canning Town about his life and wartime experiences but that has also been put on hold.

“Old people want to be involved with people,” he said. “But the opposite has happened to us now. I haven’t been out for days and days.

“I’ve got a family, but there are other old people who have got nobody.”

He added that he felt more comfortable and safe since his home in Kempton Road had been sprayed.

The disinfectant Vira-way uses is in high demand and has been deployed in Europe and China to try to contain the outbreak.

In the past week the company has treated a care setting in Hackney and an office in Canary Wharf. It takes 20 to 30 minutes to disinfect an office floor.

Care homes in Newham interested in receiving a free treatment are invited to email info@vira-way.com


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