QC approves guidelines in disinfecting public places

By Chito Chavez

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Thursday stressed the urgency of having a clear set of efficient guidelines in the process of disinfecting the city’s public places to combat the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte (FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN) Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte

Believing that these criteria were met, Belmonte approved the recommended guidelines on the preferred method for cleaning and disinfection of critical infrastructure and the environment.

The guidelines of the proposal were crafted by the Quezon City Incident Management Team on COVID-19.

With this, Belmonte stressed there is now a clear process when it comes to disinfecting infrastructure and other public areas in the city.

In its recommendation, the management team said it is necessary that evidence-based protocols are established on the ideal means of cleaning and disinfecting various buildings and other public spaces.

“Failure to properly disinfect the environment carries not only risk associated with breach of host barriers but also risk for person-to-person transmission and transmission of environmental pathogens,” said Belmonte.

The guidelines cover public outdoor spaces, including but not limited to parks, roads, markets, and other open spaces, building facades, health care and community caring facilities environment and vehicles used to transport suspected, probable, and confirmed cases.

“Vehicles used to transport cadavers with COVID-19 probable or related causes of deaths, other public facilities and funeral parlors dedicated for use in COVID-19 related operations and residential areas and communities are also included,’’ Belmonte said.

The order mandates that public outdoor spaces and building facades will be disinfected through spraying disinfectants evenly across all exposed public features, including roads, sidewalks, walls, and vehicle exteriors.

At least one day prior to the operations, concerned barangays will be informed about it so they can advise residents to stay indoors and away from areas being disinfected.

Selection of areas for disinfection will be conducted through evidence-based risk assessment by the local government, based on the current COVID-19 situation.

For indoor spaces and environmental surfaces in healthcare, community care facilities, and funeral parlors, they should be cleaned on a regular basis, especially when they are soiled.

It is also advised that walls, blinds, and window curtains in areas should be cleaned frequently when these surfaces are visibly contaminated or soiled.

When it comes to vehicle interior and upholstery, misting and spraying of disinfectant should be conducted twice a day.

The disinfectant should be dried completely before using the vehicle again.

The management team insisted that manufacturer’s instructions for proper use of disinfecting products should be followed, including the recommended use-dilation, material compatibility, storage, shelf life, and safe use and disposal.

All personnel conducting disinfection and cleaning operations must wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) while performing their task.