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corona-care disinfectant tunnels can be harmful, says WHO

GENEVA, May 16, 2020: Cautioning against spraying individuals and use of anti-corona tunnels, WHO has warned the authorities against harmful side effects such as gastrointestinal effects such as nausea and vomiting.

“Spraying individuals with disinfectants such as in a tunnel, cabinet, or chamber is not recommended under any circumstances. This could be physically and psychologically harmful and would not reduce an infected person’s ability to spread the virus through droplets or contact,” WHO said in its latest set of guidelines ‘Cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces in the context of COVID-19’ published on Saturday.

Moreover, WHO said, spraying individuals with chlorine and other toxic chemicals could result in eye and skin irritation, bronchospasm due to inhalation, and gastrointestinal effects such as nausea and vomiting.

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 and it is not feasible to manually clean and remove all organic matter from such spaces.

Moreover, spraying porous surfaces, such as sidewalks and unpaved walkways, would be even less effective, WHO said.

Even in the absence of organic matter, chemical spraying is unlikely to adequately cover all surfaces for the duration of the required contact time needed to inactivate pathogens. Furthermore, streets and sidewalks are not considered to be reservoirs of infection for COVID-19. In addition, spraying disinfectants, even outdoors, can be harmful for human health, WHO guidelines said.

For detailed guidelines: https://www.who.int/publications-detail/cleaning-and-disinfection-of-environmental-surfaces-inthe-context-of-covid-19

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