The world is facing a pandemic in the form of the COVID-19 outbreak. In this situation, one cannot be sure about the authenticity of information coming their way. And in today’s time where information exchange is rampant, it can lead to a ton of questions about which method to use for disinfection and sanitization against COVID-19. The only thing that can assure the masses in these grave times is education towards the prevention of COVID-19. Take a look at the following disinfection and sanitization tips that will help win the battle against the novel Coronavirus.

Coronavirus Prevention: Disinfection and Sanitization Tips against COVID-19 - Acko

Coronavirus Prevention Tips:

The COVID-19 virus is claiming thousands of lives around the globe. In this grave situation, prevention is better than cure.  Take a look at the following prevention tips:

1. Use Masks When Required:

Ever since the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus, major change in daily lives is people wearing masks. Everywhere you go, you will see people using all sorts of masks that come  in various shapes and colors. There are broadly two types of masks which can protect you against the possible transmission of COVID-19:

  • N95 respirators: These are usually circular or oval in shape and are capable of filtering out nearly 95% of particles from the air.
  • Surgical masks: A surgical mask loosely covers the nose, mouth and the chin area. It limits the expulsion of particles from the wearer into the surrounding area.

According to the recent guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, every one need not wear a mask. The use of masks should be prevented unless you are in any of the following situations:

  • You are actively coughing or sneezing
  • You are taking care of a person suspected of or infected by the coronavirus
  • You suspect that you are infected

If you intend to use a mask, you should take proper measures for the use and disposal of a mask. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based solution or soap before handling a mask. Wear a mask by properly covering your nose, mouth, and chin. Also, avoid touching the mask while wearing it. Every type of mask cannot be reused, if you are using a disposable one discard it after one use. To dispose of a mask, throw it in a covered waste bin and wash your hands thoroughly.

2. Maintain a Distance of Atleast 3-6 Feet if You Step Outside:

The Indian government has been urging the public to stay indoors and avoid going out unless absolutely necessary. People are advised to stay indoors. These measures are an excellent step towards curbing the spread of coronavirus and breaking the chain of transmission.

When you are required to go out of the house in this situation, make sure that you maintain a distance of at least 3-6 feet between you and other people. This is because the COVID-19 virus can be sprayed into the air from an infected person via small droplets while coughing or sneezing. There is a very high risk of infection if you breathe this air.

3. Care for Your Respiratory System:

According to the WHO, the early symptoms of COVID-19 are dry cough, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, tiredness, fever, etc… Thus, the COVID-19 virus mainly affects the respiratory system of a person. Coughing and sneezing are also the primary means of transmission of coronavirus. Thus, it is of utmost importance that you take care of your respiratory system and maintain its hygiene.

To have a healthy respiratory system avoid smoking. Do not go out of your way to find means of smoking when it is unavailable in these times. Quit completely. Revitalize your respiratory health by practicing breathing exercises and yoga. These will improve your overall health as well. Drink the recommended amount of water as per your age. Eat a healthy diet and wash your hands frequently.

4. Avoid Touching Your Eyes, Nose, Mouth:

There are chances that you might have picked up the virus from a contaminated surface. If you frequently touch your nose, eyes or mouth, you are accidentally transferring the virus to your body. Thus, it is advised that you avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth without thoroughly washing your hands.

5. Strictly Follow Rules and Government Advises:

While other countries and the World Health Organization have praised the efforts of the Indian government for battling the novel Coronavirus, it is our moral duty to follow the rules and advice issued via public platforms. This is the only way to help us remain healthy and free from the COVID-19 virus. Here are a few advice issued by the government of India:

  1. Stay indoors unless for an emergency situation
  2. Maintain personal hygiene. Wash your hands regularly with soapy water
  3. Maintain social distancing
  4. Do not forward news or facts about Coronavirus unless it is issued from an authentic source
  5. Do not panic

Also, read: Coronavirus Helpline India

Disinfection and Sanitization Tips Against COVID-19:

Apart from maintaining hygiene and following the prevention tips given above, one can also carry out the process of disinfection and sanitization to reduce the chances of contracting the COVID-19 virus. Here are a few tips:

  1. For office spaces and apartments, one should consider decontaminating entrance lobbies, escalators, elevators, corridors and staircases, security guard booths, etc… Mop these surfaces using 1% sodium hypochlorite or phenolic disinfectants for this purpose.
  2. Metallic surfaces should be cleaned with 70% alcoholic solutions. These surfaces may include security locks, keys, machines, etc…
  3. Areas that are touched frequently should be cleaned at least twice a day. These areas may include elevator call buttons, intercom systems, tabletops, chair handles, dispensing machines, handrails/handles, etc… 
    Dip a cloth in 1% sodium hypochlorite and wipe the area.

Additionally, consider installing a sanitizing station for visitors. It is advised that surroundings should be disinfected as frequently as possible. Proper protection should be used while handling chemicals and while disinfecting the surroundings.

How to Prepare a 1% Sodium Hypochlorite Solution?

You can prepare a 1% sodium hypochlorite solution with the help of the following guidelines. Check the label printed on the back of an industrial solution to know the exact amount of chemicals. Always seek professional help when in doubt.

  • Product: Sodium hypochlorite – liquid bleach 
  • Preparation: 1 part bleach to 2.5 parts of water 
  • Product: Sodium hypochlorite – liquid
  • Preparation: 1 part bleach to 4 parts water 
  • Product: NaDCC (sodium dichloroisocyanurate) powder
  • Preparation: 17 grams to 1-liter water 
  • Product: NaDCC (1.5 g/ tablet) – tablets 
  • Preparation: 11 tablets to 1 litre water 
  • Product: Chloramine – powder 
  • Preparation: 80 g to 1-liter water 
  • Product: Bleaching powder
  • Preparation: 7g to 1-liter water Any other As per manufacturer’s Instructions

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is PPE?

PPE stands for Personal Protective Equipment. PPE includes disposable gloves, layered masks, rubber boots, coveralls, goggles, etc… These types of equipment help in the prevention of transmitting a disease. Apart from wearing PPE, one should take measures like personal hygiene, proper waste management, and social distancing.

Is phenyl an effective disinfectant against coronavirus?

Yes, one can use phenolic disinfectants to reduce the risk of contamination and transmissions of the coronavirus. Regularly cleaning i.e. wiping the floor and other surfaces using a mop or cloth will help in disinfecting a household. Using phenyl for disinfecting a surface is usually done in a typical Indian household. Thus, one can safely continue to do so.

Which chemical sprays can be used for disinfecting the surroundings from coronavirus?

A variety of chemicals can be used to effectively disinfect against COVID-19 virus. You can spray these in your surroundings with the help of a disinfecting machine. Here is a quick list for your reference:

> Chlorine dioxide
> Citric acid
> Ethanol
> Ethyl alcohol
> Glycolic acid
> Hydrochloric acid
> Hydrogen peroxide
> Iodine
> Isopropyl alcohol
> Lactic acid
> Phenolic
> Sodium chloride
> Quaternary ammonium
> Thymol

Disinfectants that have the above-listed active ingredients may also come in the form of pressurized liquid, wipes, dilutable solutions, fog/mists, etc…

Is sodium hypochlorite helpful in preventing coronavirus?

Yes, as per guidelines on disinfection of common public places issued by the government of India, 1% sodium hypochlorite can be used for preventing coronavirus

How to effectively sanitize against coronavirus after grocery shopping?

Consider carrying a bottle of hand sanitizer while you are shopping for groceries. When you reach home, keep the grocery bags in a corner and immediately wash your hands with soap and water. Consider changing your clothes as well. Chances of COVID-19 being present on the groceries is very unlikely. If you want to take extra measures, you can consider cleaning the packets and bags with a cloth dipped in soapy water.

How to kill COVID-19 from letters and other deliveries?

Recent studies show that the COVID-19 virus can survive on cardboard for a long time. If you receive delivery in a cardboard box, remove its contents and discard the box in a safe place.  To clean the letters, dip a cloth in soapy water and gently clean the part that you are about to handle. Wash your hands immediately after touching deliveries and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth during this period.

How can I sprinkle disinfectant like Sodium Hypochlorite to prevent Coronavirus?

You can use a disinfectant spray or a machine (depending upon the amount of liquid) and spray the disinfectant directly in your surroundings.

References:

  • Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public, World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
  • Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: When and how to use masks, World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/when-and-how-to-use-masks
  • Guidelines on disinfection of common public places including offices, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Government of India, https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/Guidelinesondisinfectionofcommonpublicplacesincludingoffices.pdf
  • Cleaning and Disinfection for Households, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cleaning-disinfection.html
  • Personal protective equipment, World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/medical_devices/meddev_ppe/en/
  • Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2

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