Fernandez thanks DOH for clarifying misting guidelines

A HOUSE leader on Tuesday expressed gratitude to the Department of Health (DoH) for heeding his and the public's clamor to clear up the department’s guideline on spraying disinfectants or misting following the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We are grateful to the DoH for listening to the call of the people as we continue to utilize all of the resources available to combat COVID-19," said House Deputy Speaker and Laguna Rep. Dan Fernandez, who over the weekend lamented the DoH's supposed sweeping disapproval of misting activities as a precautionary measure by local government units against COVID-19.

"It is very important for us to sustain the sanitation efforts that would help to slow down, if not stop the spread of the virus,” said Fernandez.

The DoH has shed light on its recent pronouncement about the effects of disinfecting sprays and mists against the coronavirus.

During its virtual presser, Health Spokesperson Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire clarifies that spraying and misting are allowed provided that protective personal equipment (PPE) are used in doing so.

“We wish to clarify our recent claims, which is based on the World Health Organization, that misting and spraying is harmful and won’t protect people from COVID-19,” said Vergeire.

Vergeire reiterated that the act of misting and spraying disinfectants directly on individuals and pets are not allowed because it will do more harm than good.

The DoH official said that spraying and misting is advisable when direct surface cleaning becomes impractical to do.

“We can resort to spraying or misting if we don’t have any other means. There should also be extra precautions when it is done in a closed space and must be administered by someone who wears appropriate personal protective equipment or PPEs," she said.

“Direct spraying or misting on people in the community is not advisable as it will pose more risk on their health, especially persons with cough and asthma, because of the chemicals being used.” Vergeire stressed.

She also said that the DOH is allowing spraying tents inside the hospitals where health workers, wearing PPEs, are usually going in and out.

Further, Vergeire stressed in a separate interview that disinfecting operations such as misting and spraying can be done outdoors and on closed spaces such as rooms or offices provided that there are no people inside.