Coronavirus-killing ‘disinfection’ cabinet could be the must-have gadget this Christmas

The Beko Hygienic Shield cleaning cabinet. Photo: Beko/MSL Group
The Beko Hygienic Shield cleaning cabinet. Photo: Beko/MSL Group

A “disinfection” cabinet that zaps coronavirus could be the must-have gadget this Christmas as manufacturers launch a range of anti-COVID appliances amid demand for professional levels of hygiene in UK households.

The cleaning cabinet uses UV light to kill bacteria and viruses on the surfaces of personal objects such as keys, mobile phones, bags and toys.

The gadget, which looks like a microwave and costs £199, has been put on the market by the electrical brand Beko.

It is part of the brand’s “Hygiene Shield” range, which also includes a fridge with a disinfection drawer and tumble dryer with a UV setting. The products were rushed into production after a poll of Beko customers in 31 countries found widespread concerns about domestic hygiene.

READ MORE: Nearly ‘a third of Brits’ start Christmas shopping early

The company said the products are designed to provide consumers with “peace of mind that their homes are safe and clean.”

Online electrical goods retailer AO.com said there had been a huge rise in searches for terms such as “anti-bac” and “steam clean” on its website, according to the Guardian.

Sales of steam cleaning appliances have shot up by 140% this year, compared with 2019, while demand for washing machines with 90C wash cycles and steam settings rose by 87%, according to AO.

Unilever highlighted a jump in demand for soap and cleaning products supplies during lockdown which looks set to continue.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: 10 million hand sanitiser bottles heading to landfill

“Consumers are extremely uncomfortable with coming back into their homes after they’ve been outside, whether it’s shopping, something being delivered, their clothing, their shoes, their keys, their phones,” Hakan Bulgurlu, chief executive of Beko owner Arçelik, told the Guardian.

“Everybody has a little table

‘Disinfection’ cabinet that zaps coronavirus could be the must-have gadget this Christmas

RFI

Despite 70 years of Chinese oppression, Tibet continues to resist

Seven decades ago this week, the Chinese army invaded Tibet, a region that had been effectively independent since the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1912. But, since no country recognised Tibetan independence, China could go into the region unhindered, moulding Tibet into the province-like dependency it is today. After a vicious civil war with the Nationalists that ended with the victory of China’s Communist Party (CCP) in 1949, Mao Zedong moved contingents of the People’s Liberation Army(PLA) to the west, to conquer Tibet, an area China had claimed for centuries.After the fall of the Qing dynasty, central control had weakened, and Tibetans had tried, in vain, to establish their own state.But as no Chinese troops were strong enough to occupy the territory, Lhasa, ruled by religious Lamas, operated as a de facto independent state for four decades.”Even the Chinese will accept, reluctantly, that it was de factoin practice independent from at least 1912,” says Robert Barnett, currently a visiting scholar with the School of Oriental and African Studies (Soas) in London. But in October 1950, the status quo came to an abrupt end.”The PLA were on the border of Tibet and China, and they had to try and carry out that invasion before the winter of 1950 set in,” says Barnett.”It was quite difficult for them.” The troops, worn out after years of civil war, did not make it into central Tibet. The rest of the region, and the capital, Lhasa, remained untouched – for “at least another year”.”During that year, they persuaded the Tibetans to agree to surrender,” Barnett says.”They had no choice,” as none of the big powers of the time, the UK, the US, India, or neighboring Nepal, had recognised Tibet as an independent state.