As the Covid-19 pandemic spreads across the world, many countries are opting to undergo mass disinfection of areas that are seeing spikes in cases. While hearing this may put your mind at ease, disease specialists around the world have warned that mass disinfections carried out by the likes of Indonesia, Turkey & India are not only a health hazard but also a waste of time and resources.
Whether it’s through the use of drones to spray clouds of disinfectant or workers in protective gear, at the end of the day, it’s all just a ridiculous image seen in many countries.
The virus doesn’t survive long in the environment and with people don’t generally touch the ground so it’s rather pointless. This is according to Dale Fisher, an infectious diseases expert in Singapore who chairs the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network coordinated by the World Health Organisation.
And that’s just the problem. Experts are saying one thing while some governments are taking no chances under the belief that the virus “can be anywhere”. That was the rationale used by Surabaya after Indonesia’s second largest city dispersed clouds of disinfectant in the sky via the use of drones.
Another expert, Paul Tambyah of the Asia Pacific Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infection echoed Fishers sentiments, saying that handwashing and cleaning of commonly touched surfaces like elevator buttons offered better protection than mass disinfecting.
“It (spraying) is probably a cheap and visible way of doing it, but careful attention to personal and environmental hygiene is probably more effective,” he added.
Other experts from around the region basically echo the same sentiment, which is the fact that as eye catching and morale boosting as it is, it’s simply just not an effective enough procedure to warrant it being done. In some countries like the Philippines and India, they’re spraying the disinfectants directly on people, which surprise, surprise, turns out to be quite hazardous for their health.
Add to that the fact that it is causes irritation and is not good for the skin, mouth and eyes, and you have a compelling case for these mass disinfections to be stopped.