COVID-19: Spraying disinfectant on people is harmful! Health Ministry issues guidelines; details

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Published: April 21, 2020 12:50 PM

The Health Ministry has issued detailed advisory on spraying disinfectant on people, terming it 'harmful'!

The government is not recommending spraying individuals under any circumstances.

Coronavirus disinfection: The Health Ministry has issued detailed advisory on spraying disinfectant on people, terming it ‘harmful’! As per IE’s report, the advisory dated April 19th makes it very clear that spraying disinfectants on people is harmful. Countless workers who migrated from one state to another, were sprayed with disinfectant during March end. At that time, thousands were crossing the state border as a nationwide lockdown was announced and they wanted to return to their villages or towns. When the mass movement happened, many visuals came out with migrant workers being sprayed with disinfectant solutions to avoid the risk of Coronavirus transmission. According to a report by the IE, the ministry has issued an advisory against spraying disinfectants on humans to prevent the possibility of a rerun when migrant workers and labourers return to those industries that now qualify under the current lockdown relaxation.

The report citing the Health Ministry advisory said that the government is not recommending spraying individuals under any circumstances as the chemicals in the disinfectant solution are physically and psychologically harmful. It further said that if an individual has been exposed to COVID-19, spraying outside the body will not make any difference as the virus is already inside him or her. Also, there is no evidence that disinfection helps killing virus outside human body. The report said that the advisory has been issued now as the labour workers will shortly be resuming their work at industries and spraying them with disinfectant solution can be harmful to them.

COVID-19 Disinfection process

It is to note that the disinfection is done by using a sodium hypochlorite solution which is also known as bleach, the report said. It is applied for its strong chemical properties. It is therefore recommended by the government to be used at places that are frequently touched by people who have Coronavirus infection or are suspected of it. The report added that the idea of disinfecting humans with the solution is pointless. It said that it is because disinfectant takes a specific amount of time to be useful. Any area that is being disinfected, as per the protocols, need to be shut overnight. Even if anyone enters that space, the area needs to be disinfected again.

So, what exactly are the harmful effects of disinfecting with such solutions in the first place?

Explaining the harm that can be done if people are sprayed with this chlorine solution, the report said that it can lead to some irritation of skin and eyes and can cause nausea or vomiting. Moreover, when inhaled, mucous membranes in the nose, respiratory tract and throat can be irritated and cause bronchospasm. Also, it may create a false sense of safety measures. In turn, this can affect public adherence to essential practices such as social distancing and hand washing, the advisory noted.

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