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  • Soldiers spraying disinfectant in Swat streets, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. May 18, 2020.

    Soldiers spraying disinfectant in Swat streets, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. May 18, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/@SRescue1122

Published 18 May 2020
Opinion

WHO also stressed that spraying could lead to other health issues and it is not recommended in either public spaces or indoors.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on May 16 that disinfectant spraying is ineffective against COVID-19 and could be harmful.

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“Spraying or fumigation of outdoor spaces, such as streets or marketplaces, is also not recommended to kill the COVID-19 virus or other pathogens because disinfectant is inactivated by dirt and debris,” the organization stated. 

WHO also stressed spraying people could lead to other health issues and it is not recommended either public spaces or indoors. “Moreover, spraying disinfectants can result in risks to the eyes, respiratory or skin irritation and the resulting health effects,” WHO said.

As some studies revealed, COVID-19 can stay and persist on different surfaces for days, increasing the spread. This information is valid under laboratory parameters, but those parameters are to be tested in not controlled circumstances.


 “Spraying or fogging of certain chemicals, such as formaldehyde, chlorine-based agents, or quaternary ammonium compounds, is not recommended due to adverse health effects on workers in facilities where these methods have been utilized, " the Health authority said.

WHO also warns about other disinfectant spraying consequences. “This could be physically and psychologically harmful and would not reduce an infected person’s ability to spread the virus through droplets or contact,” the article said.

As WHO states, the appropriate cleaning method is to use a cloth or wipe that has been soaked in disinfectant. According to the document, some countries approved non-touch technologies to disinfect sanitary facilities and patients' rooms specifically. “These technologies supplement but do not replace the need for manual cleaning procedures,” Who concludes.

Several countries adopted street spraying as an anti-COVID method. In Mexico, there is manual spraying while Russia and Spain use drones and fog guns to disperse chemicals.

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