DOH Causes Confusion by announcing there is No Evidence Disinfecting Agent Kills the Virus

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The Department of Health (DOH) Philippines has discouraged the spraying or misting method to disinfect the public places against the so-called coronavirus. In the department’s advisory on Facebook posted April 10, it says that there is no proof that large scale misting of areas and spraying on surfaces with disinfecting agents kills the virus.

This is what the DOH stated:

ANNOUNCEMENT: DOH does not recommend spraying or misting. There is no evidence to support that spraying of surfaces or large scale misting of areas, indoor or outdoor with disinfecting agents, kills the virus.

Spraying or misting has an additional health concern as it can:

  1. Cause pathogens to be dispersed further during spraying
  2. Result to skin irritation and inhalation of chemicals and subsequent development of respiratory side effects
  3. May also cause environmental pollution

Then the DOH went on to say:

“Everyone should not spray or mist disinfectants at this time. Soak objects directly or disinfect surfaces to kill the virus.”

Meanwhile, ABS-CBN reported:

“In some cities, sodium hypochlorite or household bleach is mixed with water and sprayed on streets using firetrucks, while people are made to enter disinfecting tents before being allowed inside buildings.”

“We have received a lot of reports of people complaining about skin problems and asthma”. This is according to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire. She also said that “the DOH advisory is based on evidence that shows disinfection can result in asthma or dermatitis”.

This clearly shows that sometimes, there is no consistency between the local government units (LGU’s) and the DOH as some LGU’s have been disinfecting roads and establishments through spraying and misting in their particular jurisdictions many times since the COVID19 issue broke out in the country. In Davao City for example, the city government’s Facebook page has announced on April 9:

“City government workers, barangay functionaries, and various fire Volunteer organizations work hand in hand to disinfect Bankerohan Public Market. This is a proactive campaign to eradicate virus and bacteria that endangers public health.”

As a result, this has caused confusion to some citizens. One Facebook user commented:

“DOH, WHY ONLY NOW!!!???? Are you implying that the QC government’s efforts and funds go to waste??? And may have jeopardized us all the more?!!! For GOD’s sake, DOH mind your INTEGRITY PLEASE.”

Another user also commented:

“Was it you, DOH, who also told people that wearing face mask isn’t necessary and revoked it after? I think you guys are being unreliable.”

References:

ANNOUNCEMENT: DOH does not recommend spraying or misting. There is no evidence to support that spraying of surfaces or…

Posted by Department of Health (Philippines) on Friday, April 10, 2020

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