LGUs told to stop misting on people

By: Rosalie Abatayo - CDN Digital | April 20,2020 - 02:08 PM

This is a misting tent dubbed the Sunnytation that was donated by a group of architects to the Cebu Provincial Government earlier this month to help in the fight against the spread of COVID-19. CDN Digital photo | Rosalie Abatayo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has advised local government units to prevent further health concerns from emerging by stopping its misting activities on people.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año, in an advisory on Monday, April 20, 2020, said the government should align its measures against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to new facts gathered by experts in order effectively respond to the pandemic.

Año made the statement following an advisory from the World Health Organization (WHO) last week, clarifying that misting and disinfection on people are not effective against COVID-19 and may even cause more harm than good.

“We do not want to cause our citizens any harm as we combat this pandemic kaya patuloy po ang ating pakikipag-ugyanan sa DOH ukol sa mga pamamaraan upang mapigilan ang pagkalat ng coronavirus sa ating mga pamayanan at patuloy po tayong makikinig sa kanila kasabay ang pagpapaalala sa mga LGU ng mga dapat nilang gawin,” he says.

Año said the last thing the national government needs right now is an additional health concern on top of the COVID-19 and that stopping the use of disinfectants on people is the “right step” since the Department of Health (DOH) has also refuted its effectivity.

“The most important thing is we continue to adapt as we discover new knowledge about COVID-19. Tulad na lamang na hindi makatutulong ang mga disinfection mist laban dito kaya naman we discourage the LGUs from using them sa kanilang mga nasasakupan,” said Año.

However, Año said the LGUs can continue disinfecting surfaces of areas and objects as a measure against the spread of COVID-19.

Persons who are using full personal protective equipment (PPE) may also be subjected to misting before removing their full PPEs provided that their eyes, nose, mouth, and throat are not exposed to the substance expelled by the misting.

In an Advisory dated April 18, 2020, the Año earlier advised LGUs to disallow the use of disinfection tents for individuals without PPE and adhering to a DOH memorandum on the guidelines in the use of misting tents and other similar equipment.

The substance expelled by the misting tents commonly used chemical disinfectants such as hypochlorite, which according to the DILG, are “irritant to the skin and the mucous membrane (eyes, nose, and throat) and may have adverse effects when inhaled.” /bmjo

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TAGS: DILG, health issues, orders, stop misting

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