It has been reported that many organisations, citizens, alumni associations are coming forward to donate tunnel wherein disinfectant is spray on people as a part of novel coronavirus management. However, the new advisory issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare through its Directorate General of Health Services cautioned people from doing this.
As per the advisory, it is not only physically harmful, but psychologically too. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has received many queries regarding the efficacy (if any) of use of disinfectants such as sodium hypochlorite spray used on the individuals to disinfect them. The Ministry examined the merit of using disinfectants as spray over human body to disinfect them from COVID-19 and to provide appropriate advisory. It came to conclusion according to which, disinfectants are chemicals that destroy disease causing pathogens or other harmful microorganisms.
Chemical disinfectants are recommended for cleaning and disinfection only of frequently touched areas/surfaces by those who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID19. Precautionary measures are to be adopted while using disinfectants for cleaning – like wearing gloves during disinfection. In view of the conclusions, the Ministry has issued advisory that says the following advisory is issued: Spraying of individuals or groups is not recommended under any circumstances. Spraying an individual or group with chemical disinfectants is physically and psychologically harmful. Even if a person is potentially exposed with the COVID19 virus, spraying the external part of the body does not kill the virus that has entered your body. Also, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that they are effective even in disinfecting the outer clothing/body in an effective manner. The advisory further says spraying of chlorine on individuals can lead to irritation of eyes and skin and potentially gastrointestinal effects such as nausea and vomiting.
Inhalation of sodium hypochlorite can lead to irritation of mucous membranes to the nose, throat, and respiratory tract and may also cause bronchospasm. As per the conclusions drawn by Ministry, additionally, use of such measures may, in fact, lead to a false sense of disinfection and safety and actually hamper public observance to hand washing and social distancing measures.