Spraying of disinfectant on people ‘physically and psychologically harmful’: Health ministry

File Pic
File Pic

The Union Health Ministry on Saturday issued an advisory against spraying of disinfectant on people for COVID-19 management, stating that it was physically and psychologically harmful.

Even if a person is potentially exposed with the COVID-19virus, spraying the external part of the body does not kill the virus that hasentered the body, it said, adding there is no scientific evidence to suggestthat they are effective even in disinfecting the outer clothing/body in aneffective manner.

The ministry said it has received many queries regarding theefficacy (if any) of use disinfectants such as sodium hypochlorite spray usedover the individuals to disinfect them.

"The strategy seems to have gained of lot of mediaattention and is also being reportedly used at local levels in certaindistricts/local bodies," the ministry said.

Disinfectants are chemicals that destroy disease-causingpathogens or other harmful microorganisms. It refers to substances applied oninanimate objects owing to their strong chemical properties.

Chemical disinfectants are recommended for cleaning anddisinfection only of frequently touched areas/surfaces by those who aresuspected or confirmed to have COVID-19.

Precautionary measures are to be adopted while usingdisinfectants for cleaning – like wearing gloves during disinfection.

"Spraying of individuals or groups is not recommendedunder any circumstances. Spraying an individual or group with chemical disinfectantsis physically and psychologically harmful," it said.

Spraying of chlorine on individuals can lead to irritationof eyes and skin and potentially gastrointestinal effects such as nausea andvomiting. Inhalation of sodium hypochlorite can lead to irritation of mucousmembranes to the nose, throat, respiratory tract and may also causebronchospasm, the advisory said.Additionallyuse of such measures may in fact lead to a false sense of disinfection andsafety and actually hamper public observance to hand washing and socialdistancing measures, it stated.

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