CSIR lab defends sanitisation tunnel after Ministry’s advisory-THE HINDU-24-04-2020


The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had in a recent advisory cautioned against the spraying of disinfectant on people as part of measures to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic and had explicitly said that “disinfectants are recommended for the cleaning and disinfection only of frequently touched areas or surfaces by those suspected or confirmed to have been infected” by the virus. The ministry had made clear that the spraying on individuals or groups was “not recommended under any circumstances” and that even if a person was potentially exposed to the novel coronavirus, spraying the external part of the body did not guarantee killing the virus that had entered one’s body. “Also, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that they are effective even in disinfecting the outer clothing in an effective manner,” the Health ministry noted in its advisory. % hypo solution by diluting the stock solution 100 times, not knowing that the commercial chemical is 5-8 wt.

% solution and has to be diluted accordingly. The scientific data of CSIR-NCL and ICT clearly show that there is a beneficial killing effect of bacteria and microbes at 0.02-0.05 wt. % hypo, ” they said. Clarifying that the mist spray was for external body and clothing sanitisation only, the two officials said that the scientific reports would be submitted to government and health authorities for consideration on merit and immediate implementation.

CSIR-NCL further recommended the use of ‘face shields’ or ‘safety goggles’ during the walk-through which could then be recycled after further disinfection. “A hypo solution with 0.05% weight concentration is suggested for those exposed to a large population such as health workers, municipal employees and police authorities and 0.02% weight concentration for those in normal office spaces like inside office or factory,” the two establishments said, while not advocating it for those in completely isolated places like homes. In the section on ‘cleaning practices’ which was part of a technical brief on ‘water, sanitation hygiene and waste management for the COVID-19 virus issued by the World Health Organization on March 3, it had recommended the usage of sodium hypochlorite at 0.5% for disinfecting surfaces, and 70% ethyl alcohol to disinfect small areas between uses, such as reusable dedicated equipment like thermometers.

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