Just as the Gujarat government issued its notification for restrictions and relaxations pertaining to the fourth phase of the lockdown on May 18, the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) issued an advisory on its official Twitter handle, urging people to avoid falling for misleading information about spraying disinfectants on people.
The advisory comes a day after multiple videos of people spraying disinfectants on people, presumably their domestic help, went viral on social media. Written in Gujarati, the advisory warns people of the dangers of directly spraying disinfectants on people and highlights the “mental trauma” it can cause to a person.
The advisory states, “Spraying disinfectant on people or groups, under any circumstances, is injurious to physical and mental health. Spraying disinfectants on a Covid-19 patient does not kill the virus in any case because it is inside a person’s body.”
The advisory warns of the hazards of thoughtlessly using chlorine and sodium hypochlorite, two popular chemical disinfectants at the moment. “Spraying chlorine on a person could cause burns on their skin and eyes, and the fumes could lead to nausea and vomiting. Inhalation of sodium hypochlorite can cause blisters in the throat as well as bronchospasm,” the advisory further states.
Urging people to continue maintaining social distancing, the advisory states that resorting to unproven harmful tactics only takes away the message of the actual precautionary measures. “Resorting to such measures of spraying disinfectants on people leads to wrong notions about precautionary measures for Covid-19. It cannot be a replacement for good hygiene, like regular hand washing and social distancing.”
An official of the VMC told this newspaper, “There are many viral videos of people promoting this activity from various parts of the country. At this time, people are relying extensively on information from the internet and amateurs. We thought it was necessary to issue this advice. Keeping surroundings clean is definitely a must; spraying it on an individual is only foolhardy.”
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