How to protect our environmental surfaces from COVID-19?

It’s been a difficult few months since pandemic started, but we can’t let fear dominate us and this is where the information comes in, the more we educate ourselves the more cautious we will be.

There are still many people who are not aware of the risks behind the Coronavirus disease, the respiratory infection caused by SARS-CoV-2. For example, they don’t even know how the virus is transmitted mainly through close physical contact and respiratory droplets. But what about environmental surfaces? furniture like chairs, tables, walls, blood pressure cuffs, stethoscopes, wheelchairs, and electronic equipment are more likely to be contaminated with the COVID-19.

That’s why these surfaces (especially those where patients are being cared for) must be properly disinfected and cleaned to prevent further transmission and to reduce any probability in the transmission of COVID-19 either in non-health or health care settings. Deep cleaning with water and soap (or any neutral detergent) removes and reduces dirt and other organic matter, but does not kill microorganisms. Therefore, a chemical disinfectant (like chlorine or alcohol) should be applied after cleaning tasks to kill any remaining microorganisms.

Also, concentrations with inadequate dilution during preparation may reduce their effectiveness, so it’s important to check that every disinfectant solution should be prepared according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Another option is hypochlorite-based products because they include liquid, solid or powdered formulations that can be dissolved in water to create an effective dilute solution against several common pathogens at various concentrations.

Some countries have approved no-touch technologies (such as vaporized hydrogen peroxide). Notably, these technologies were developed for use in health-care settings but don’t replace the need for manual cleaning procedures. So if you are thinking using a no-touch disinfection technology, surfaces must be cleaned manually first to remove organic matter by brushing or scrubbing.

Watch out! spraying individuals with chlorine or other toxic chemicals could result in skin and/or eye irritation, bronchospasm, and gastrointestinal effects such as vomiting and nausea.

Finally, When working in places with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases, the cleaners must require the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including uniforms with long-sleeves, gowns, closed work shoes, impermeable aprons, medical mask, rubber gloves, and eye protection. We will continue to monitor the situation closely to give you further updates, meanwhile, remember to stay alert and follow these requirements to maintain your loved ones safe.