MANILA – The pros and cons of the spraying or misting of disinfectants to reduce the transmission of the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) will be weighed on by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on its meeting on Monday.
Cabinet Secretary and IATF spokesperson Karlo Nograles made this comment after the Department of Health (DOH), in a statement, said 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.
“We will honor the recommendation of the DOH pero pag-uusapan muna namin ito sa IATF para lahat ng miyembro ay mas maliwanagan dito (but we will discuss this in the IATF so all members will be enlightened about this matter),” he said in a virtual presser on Sunday.
In a statement on Friday, the DOH warned that spraying or misting poses an additional health concern as it can cause pathogens to be dispersed further during spraying.
The DOH said it may also result in skin irritation and inhalation of chemicals, and cause environmental pollution, among others.
Instead of spraying or misting, the DOH advised the public to soak objects or disinfect surfaces to kill the virus.
On its official Twitter account, the World Health Organization Representative-Philippines (WHO-Philippines) also said spraying of surfaces or large-scale misting using alcohol, chlorine or other chemicals does not kill the virus.
Physical distancing, regular handwashing and avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth are more effective ways to reduce the chances of being infected, the WHO added.
Local governments and private companies have been conducting regular misting to help prevent the spread of the new virus.
Decontamination tents and gantries have also been installed across the country.
On Friday, Deputy Speaker and Laguna 1st district Rep. Dan Fernandez urged the DOH to take back its claim that spraying or misting does not protect people against Covid-19.
“Ang pakiusap ko sa DOH, bawiin ninyo ang statement ninyo. Ating gawin lahat ng paraan para malabanan ang sakit na ito. Magtulungan. Hindi magdudahan o maghatakan pababa (My appeal to the DOH is, take your statement back. Let’s do everything we can to combat this disease. Let’s cooperate instead of doubting and pulling each other down),” he said.
He said more developed countries like China, where the virus originated, have been carrying out misting as a precaution against Covid-19. (PNA)