I suggest it because the usual professional UV-C sources are in short supply and very costly.
A common 175 W mercury lamp designed for illumination includes the quartz 'lamp' tube itself, inside an outer bulb designed to block UV-C (< 300 nm) radiation. If the outer bulb were removed, this kind of lamp would seem to be able to provide UV-C to destroy a virus.
I don't have a UV-C capable spectrometer nor a power meter filtered for UV-C only, so I can't test/do the experiment myself. Maybe someone else has such gear.
A document on this is here, and it includes references. I do not suggest that this be done except by those who understand the hazards of the experiment.
I believe that it's better to throw an idea on the table in front of engineers and technicians, than to hide ideas that may be helpful or to post untried projects on hack sites and prepper forums where they may do more harm than good. Known hazards include: UV radiation, high voltage, high temperature, broken glass.
If someone has the gear to try it, maybe it could help the situation.
The document is here, somewat hidden by obscurity.
ADDED 4/3/ 2020: I should have stated that my goal was primarily to disinfect masks for re-use. I didn't want to limit the scope, being more interested in spectrum and power per square area at given distance.
I too, worked with an e-prom eraser, but from a repair perspective. The original UV tube was broken and unavailable. I put in two UV-C germicidal lamps. It worked perfectly and saved the customer money.
Some masks can be treated by heat or chemicals, and some may contain materials that are ruined quickly or are not properly disinfected by those and other methods. The type and construction of mask will dictate the best way to disinfect it for maximum re-use.
Treating every surface of an arbitrarily shaped object with sufficient UV intensity for sufficient time is a challenge. It's not impossible. Two UV lamps could be used, or a rotisserie arrangement, using an alligator clip to hold a mask, or any other arrangement, may be worthwhile. We can use our imaginations.
There was, and will not be, any suggestion whatsoever that anyone get some Covid-19 Coronavirus and irradiate it, then try to prove it’s worked. There are experts in the field who know how much UV-C intensity per area and irradiation time is required to inactivate the virus. There is such information for other viruses online.
While there are no studies specifically on Covid-19, Ozone has been shown to kill the SARS Coronavirus. Ozone is unstable and wants to revert to O2 and lose the third Oxygen atom. If the third atom of Oxygen does not find another Oxygen atom to combine with, it can break the virus so that it can't function. While Ozone can damage some materials, it does disinfect them. There are several references, to scholarly work, in online articles to support the statement made in the comment. Link1 to references and Link2 to references
At least one paper states that atomic Oxygen can recombine in a time scale of a few milliseconds. Our senses and the above references tell us that it can be produced in copious enough amounts to be effective in spite of this.
Solutions don't have to be clever, they only have to be workable. A Dallas, Texas mattress-cleaning company is already using its production line to sterilize masks for hospitals. It seems obvious but it's extending the lifetime of disposable masks from 1 day to > a week.
What the UV (and Ozone comment) information may mean for the public, who may soon be told to wear masks or face coverings outdoors, that that a mask could be safely used for a very long time. Ozone generation is another topic.
I clarify that I am not posting here for any pecuniary purpose. I have only one old set of PPE. Unfortunately it is only effective on October 31. A bit of levity keeps me motivated.