Spraying disinfectants ineffective against coronavirus
Spraying disinfectants ineffective against coronavirus. Courtesy: New Indian Express

Spraying Disinfectants To Eliminate COVID-19 Threat Can Be Harmful: WHO

May 17, 2020

The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned on Saturday that spraying disinfectants on the streets does not kill the novel coronavirus.

It was stated in a WHO document regarding  cleaning and disinfecting surfaces as part of the response to the novel coronavirus.

"Spraying disinfectants on the streets, which is practised by some countries, does not kill the new coronavirus," the WHO stated.

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"It in fact poses a serious health risk. Spraying can be ineffective," the WHO added in the document.

"Spraying disinfectants on streets or marketplaces to kill the novel coronavirus or any other pathogen is not recommended," it further stressed.

"Chemical spraying, even in the absence of organic matter,  is unlikely to adequately cover all surfaces for the duration of the required contact time needed to inactivate pathogens," the WHO added.

Adding further it said, "Streets and pavements are not considered as reservoirs of infection of COVID-19."

The WHO in the document further discouraged the spraying individuals with disinfectants under any circumstances.

"Spraying disinfectants on individuals could be harmful- both physically and psychologically," the WHO document added.

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"Spraying individuals with disinfectants would not reduce the infected person’s ability to spread the infection-either via droplets or contact," the document added.

"One may, in fact, suffer from eye and skin irritation, bronchospasm and gastrointestinal effects if chlorine is sprayed on one for disinfecting," the document added.

"Systemic spraying fumigating of disinfectants on to surfaces in indoor spaces should be avoided," WHO further said.

"This has proven to be ineffective outside direct spraying areas," WHO added in the statement.

"Instead of direct spraying, disinfectants should be first mixed in water and then a piece of cloth or wipe should be soaked in it and then area should be moped with the cloth," the WHO said.

Various studies have shown that the novel coronavirus can stay on several types of surfaces for several days.

Spraying disinfectants to eliminate the threat of the virus became popular in several countries and accordingly many countries are following this exercise to clean the surfaces.

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