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Air Safety Expert Concerned By Education Ministry Decision On Omicron

The Education Ministry’s decision to wait until June to supply the bulk of its 5,000 air filter units to schools is too little and too late with Omicron already here, says the Kiwi company which distributes world leading indoor air safety technology.

“Omicron is here now, so we need to do whatever we can to reduce transmission and keep our students and teachers safe,” said Big Blue Managing Director Paul Wiggans.

“With only 500 units arriving in March to service over 2,500 schools this just won’t do enough in terms of preventing transmission at a time when Omicron is expected to be spreading fast and wide in the community, even if every classroom has its windows open 24/7 which just isn’t practical.

“We need to do a much better job when the technology is readily available.”

Big Blue is the exclusive New Zealand supplier of ActivePure air safety units, technology developed by NASA and proven to actively combat pathogens in the air around you such as the virus that causes COVID-19, rather than relying on standard air filtration, providing greater protection in indoor spaces.

“Our air safety units are already in use around New Zealand by government, public and private hospitals, dentists and a wide range of other businesses and organisations. They protected New Zealand’s athletes at last year's Olympics and right now players for a leading rugby team.

“ActivePure is proven technology that is far advanced over standard air filters and in my view, we should be investing in the best technology that is readily available to protect our kids. Overseas, ActivePure Units are already helping to protect thousands of children in schools.

“We all know that Omicron is a highly transmissible variant and with the vaccine roll-out for our 5–12-year-olds only starting, we feel the Ministry should be taking the strongest possible measures to keep our kids and teachers safe, and that includes getting the best technology, not just air filters.

“We could supply 2,000 ActivePure units today if we got the green light, and enough for every classroom in New Zealand by mid-April and at a time when Omicron will be most active in the community.

“We’ve just landed thousands more units into New Zealand to meet growing demand and critical needs, with classrooms heading the list. We have a proven track record supporting the New Zealand Government and feel that our technology could give our schools the protection they need,” said Paul Wiggans.

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