The World Health Organization (WHO) issued an important warning on dealing with Coronavirus last Saturday, May 16. It has been observed that some countries have been spraying disinfectants out on the streets in open which is unnecessary as it does not eliminate the virus and may even cause a potential health risk.
As per a record on disinfecting and sterilizing surfaces in order to kill the coronavirus, spraying out disinfectant is totally ineffective.
This might come out as a shock because we have been seeing Health officials carrying out the outdoor fumigation in marketplaces, streets, and other outdoor spaces. However, as per a study by WHO doing this is not recommendable as the disinfectant gets inactivated by dirt and other debris without serving the purpose.
Even if the organic matter is not present the spraying of chemicals is very unlikely to cover all the surfaces in the required time of contact to kill or inactivate the virus.
Moreover, WHO pointed out the fact that streets and other outdoor spaces can not be considered as the “reservoirs of infection” of COVID-19 despite these chemicals can be harmful to human health.
WHO even cautioned the government to not spray individuals with any kind of disinfectants under any circumstances.
The coronavirus is spread through droplets from the infected person or through contact and spraying chemicals could be harmful and would not reduce the chances of transmission.
WHO highlighted what these harmful chemicals are potent to do to humans rather than killing the virus. Chlorine or any other toxic chemical on people or out on the surface can possibly cause eye and skin irritation, bronchospasm(a condition related to constriction in the bronchial muscles), and various gastrointestinal effects.
It was also advised to avoid systematic spraying of these chemicals for the fumigation of indoor spaces. The best way to disinfectant an area would be by using a cloth soaked in disinfectant or a disinfectant wipe.
The nCOV virus of the family of the SARS-COV-2 virus can attach itself to objects and surfaces. There has not been any precise information or study about the period of duration for which the virus remains attached and hence infectious on the surfaces.
According to a study conducted by The New England Journal of Medicine in Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1, SARS-CoV-2 was more stable on plastic and stainless steel than on copper and cardboard, and the viable virus was detected up to 72 hours after application to these surfaces, although the virus titer was greatly reduced.
Studies have obviously been made and shown that the virus remains on different surfaces for several days/hours but these studies have been done in the laboratory and human-made conditions rather than a real-world environment.