Semarang-Central Java (9/11). Diponegoro University has just launched the first anti-Covid bus in Indonesia on Tuesday (9/11) at the Rectorate Building of the Undip Tembalang campus. The bus, which is named Bio Smart and Safe Bus, is the result of a joint research between Diponegoro University and Karoseri Laksana and PO Sumber Alam. This collaboration is the implementation of the Kedaireka Matching Fund Program 2021. The Matching Fund itself is a tangible form of support from the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia for the creation of collaboration and strategic synergies between Insan Dikti (university institutions) and the Industry. The team leader for this program is Dr dr. Awal Prasetyo, M.Kes., Sp.ENT-KL from the Faculty of Medicine Undip.

In his speech, the Rector of Diponegoro University, Prof. Dr. Yos Johan Utama, S.H., M. Hum. appreciated this useful innovation. Moreover, this innovation supports the government’s efforts in dealing with Covid-19 in Indonesia. Prof. Yos advised, “The innovation that has been designed does not stop here. It must continue to develop, like Ki Hajar Dewantara’s message that we must see, analyze, and improve our knowledge. Make an innovation which is cheap, simple and smart. From the bus model, it is hoped that it can be designed into a car with a simpler design, lower cost but more sophisticated.” He added, “The matching fund program will produce great works that support industry and transportation fields which will eventually produce RGA (Revenue Generating Activities)”.

Meanwhile, Team Leader of Matching Fund Program 2021, Dr. dr. Awal Prasetyo, M.Kes., Sp.THT-KL reported that the development of research on this anti-Covid bus had been carried out since the beginning of pandemic in 2020 and funded by Kedaireka Matching Fund Program 2021. He explained that there are 3 important components, namely the application of physical distance with spaced chairs, the application of nanosilver so that the room is free of microbes and bacteria, and the provision of herbal masks.

Furthermore, Dr. Awal explained that in preventing the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the bus was designed with the concept of a healthy triangle. In the healthy triangle concept, there is an environment, disease-causing agents (pathogens) and hosts. On the environmental aspect, the layout of the passenger seat implements the principle of physical distancing. The cabin air circulation is specially designed to make the air cleaner and healthier.

The Bio Smart and Safe Bus air circulation system works as the AC is turned on and cools the cabin, the air will be absorbed in by the AC inlet located at the bottom of the bus, so the air in the bus cabin will always be fresh. The inhaled air is then channeled through a HEPA filter, UV-C lamp which functions to filter out very small particles such as viruses and break them down. For the pathogenic aspect, the entire interior surface of the cabin has been coated with nano silver. Nano silver functions to decompose viruses that stick to the interior surface of the bus. With the Hepa Filter, UV-C lamp, and Nano Silver, the number of viruses or the circulation of viruses in the bus cabin will be significantly minimized.

“To increase the protection of bus passengers, every passenger will get an herbal mask that is clinically proven to increase immunity for its users. The free herbal masks distributed to passengers are also products of innovation from Undip researchers,” he explained.

Furthermore, the Head of Undip Secretariat and Protocol, Dr. Agus Suherman, S.Pi, M.Sc., added that this anti-Covid bus is a form of Undip’s support to help the government reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus. “Hopefully we can produce new innovations from Undip researchers as a form of Undip’s concern based on the Tri Dharma of Higher Education, namely education, research, and community service that benefits the community,” he concluded. (Ut-PR)