A reusable face mask that can kill COVID-19 with heat by drawing power from a mobile phone charger has been invented in Israel, Reuters reported, citing local scientists.
The report says that the new mask has a "USB port that connects to a power source such as a standard cellphone charger that heats an inner layer of carbon fibres to up to 70 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit), high enough to kill viruses".
The sterilising process takes about 30 minutes, and "users should not wear the mask while it is plugged in", Professor Yair Ein-Eli, who led the research team at Technion University in Haifa, told Reuters.
According to the scientists, the mask will probably cost about $1 more than a typical disposable face mask.
The researchers reportedly submitted a patent for the mask in the United States in late March and have been discussing commercialising the product with the private sector.
The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide has surpassed 8.1 million, with more than 441,000 deaths and over 3.9 million recoveries, Johns Hopkins University data shows.