With the COVID-19 pandemic, disinfectant chambers that sprays alcohol or chlorine on to people may sound like a good idea. But Dr Jemilah Mahmood, special advisor to the prime minister on public health, has said on Twitter that it’s not. In fact, she says it is also against guidelines set by the World Health Organisation.
The tweet is in response to a report by The Star regarding Univiersiti Teknologi Malaysia’s mass production of its disinfection chamber. In a follow-up tweet, Dr Jemilah linked to a WHO public advisory on COVID-19 myths. One item in the advisory addresses the use of alcohol and chlorine as disinfectants.
WHO’s advisory states that spraying either of the two substances all over your body will not kill the viruses that have already entered the body. Doing so would in fact damage your clothing, and cause irritation to people. Specifically, the mucous membranes in the openings of one’s face, like eyes, nose and ears. The entry does say that the two chemicals are useful for disinfection surface, but only when used under appropriate recommendations.
All that being said, the WHO advisory itself makes for a very informative, as well as interesting, read. It addresses a number of common myths regarding COVID-19, maybe including a few you never knew existed.