Disinfectants have been found to be harmful for human health
A legal notice has been served to the government to stop the use of disinfectants, which have reportedly been found to be harmful for health, on the human body as a measure against Covid-19.
Supreme Court lawyer Barrister Shihab Uddin Khan sent the notice on Wednesday to the secretaries of Planning, Health, Disaster Management, Power Division, Director General of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), Director of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control & Research (IEDCR), Chief Engineer of the Health Engineering Department (HED), and the Principal Information Officer of the Press Information Department (PID).
The notice stated that Covid-19 is an acute respiratory disease transmitted in most instances through respiratory droplets, direct contact with infected individuals, and also through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects.
Recently, various manufacturing companies have claimed that disinfectants are effective, if delivered in a particular manner (disinfecting tunnels), at reducing the transmission of Covid-19.
These disinfection procedures usually operate by automated dispersion of disinfectants (chemical solutions) through infra-red or motion sensors on individuals.
Although various studies have stated that disinfectants are only suitable for hard, nonporous surfaces, their use on human bodies has kept increasing in Bangladesh.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently issued a guideline for all the officers and employees of the state to follow in order to contain the spread of Covid-19. However, surprisingly enough, the same ministry, earlier on April 16, issued letters upon civil surgeons, directing them not to use such disinfecting tunnels. The sudden u-turn of their recommendations caused apprehension to the masses, stated the notice.
The notice also said that the World Health Organization (WHO), on their official website, has clearly provided advice for the public to not use spray, bleach, or any other disinfectants on the body. They further clarified that "Bleach and disinfectant should be used carefully to disinfect surfaces only". Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), USA has provided their guidelines under "Cleaning and Disinfecting your facility" and stated that "CDC does not recommend the use of sanitizing tunnels. There is no evidence that they are effective in reducing the spread of Covid-19. Chemicals used in sanitizing tunnels could cause skin, eye, or respiratory irritation or damage," the notice stated.
The notice requested recipients to take immediate measures to stop using disinfectants on the human body through various devices. It also stated that legal action may be taken against those that violate this guideline.