The health ministry on Monday issued a document urging municipal and provincial authorities to put a stop to spraying disinfectants in public spaces as a COVID-19 prevention and control measure.
Since the beginning of the pandemic earlier last year, several large-scale disinfectant spraying campaigns have been carried out – especially in severe outbreak-hit urban centres like Hà Nội, HCM City or Hải Phòng – mostly done by the chemical units of the defence ministry.
Disfectants sprayed inThủ Đức, HCM City, currently the country's biggest COVID-19 hot spot, on July 23, 2021.
According to the health ministry, spraying large amounts of disinfectants in public spaces is not effective in dealing with the spread of COVID-19 and is a waste of chemicals that could be used for other purposes. These chemicals could also potentially lead to environmental damage, as well as cause health problems for those doing the spraying and the people exposed to the chemicals in the surrounding areas.
Since the pandemic began earlier last year, several large-scale disinfectant spraying campaigns have been carried out – particularly in severe outbreak-hit urban centres like Hà Nội, HCM City or Hải Phòng – mostly done by the chemical units of the defence ministry.
The health ministry noted that spaces like streets and pavements are not where the coronavirus is present and spraying disinfectants over these spaces is not recommended by the WHO.
The spraying of disinfectants on people – like what has been done at ‘disinfection booths’ set up at the gates of some companies and buildings, or when foreign arrivals landed in Việt Nam – should also be stopped, as this could be damaging to one’s health.
The use of disinfectants should be limited to enclosed spaces where there has been a COVID-19 outbreak, in line with a previous document on the matter issued March 25, 2020. In this case, they should only be used on surfaces that have come into contract with a COVID-19 patient, like the walls of their residential building, the common hall or elevators and should be done with chemicals approved by the Việt Nam Health Environment Management Agency.