Fumigation of rooms and fumigation tunnels are not recommended!

This is taken from our National IPC Guidelines

Environmental spraying of walls, floors, ceilings and passages in health care facilities with chlorine is not recommended. There is no evidence that transmission from these areas occurs.

Body spraying of humans with any chemical or product in any situation including entrances to healthcare facilities, is not warranted. The chemicals used may be toxic to the skin, eyes and respiratory tract and may aggravate the acquisition of SARS-CoV-2.

Here is the memo sent out by the NDOH advising against spray tunnels.

Human coronaviruses can remain infectious on surfaces for up to 9 days. The SARS-CoV-2 virus has been detected after up to 72 hours in experimental conditions.

Therefore, cleaning the environment is paramount and is covered in detail in the NDOH National IPC Manual (2020).

WHO Cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces in the context of COVID-19

WHO Infection prevention and control during health care when coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is suspected or confirmed

To summarise, each area of the healthcare facility must be cleaned at least twice daily, with a proper schedule, checklist and programme. See Western Cape Guidelines on daily cleaning.

In high risk areas (COVID-19 triage, isolation ward and ICU settings), the environment must be cleaned and disinfected at least 3-4 times per day and checked by the supervisor each time. The cleaning can be validated using visual inspection and fluorescent markers and a record of cleaning must be kept.

Following a positive patient in GP rooms and other areas within a facility:

A thorough (deep) clean is recommended of all door handles, hand rails, doors, lift buttons, floors, desks, etc.

This can take place with soap and water. Universal disinfectant wipes which combine cleaning and disinfection are impregnated with peracetic acid and or hydrogen peroxide and may be used but these are expensive.

Following thorough cleaning, surfaces are wiped (NOT SPRAYED) with disinfectants such as 1:1000 ppm chlorine or 70% alcohol, as recommended.

Here is a useful calculator to work out how to make a 1000ppm hypochlorite solution.

(JIK = 3.5% hypochlorite)

Ventilation of the area is also important. Open the windows and doors!

Please read the following articles:

COVID-19: Companies sell unnecessary ‘deep cleans’ with exaggerated claims

Distance, Dose, Dispersion: An experts’ guide on Covid-19 risks in South Africa and how to manage them

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