'More harm than good': Local governments told to stop using disinfection tents, misting

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 20 2020 06:29 PM

A patient goes through disinfection before entering the San Juan COVID-19 Kalinga Center on April 19, 2020. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Department of the Interior and Local Government discouraged local government units on Monday from using disinfection tents, and misting on people as precautionary measures against coronavirus disease (COVID-19), saying these “may even cause more harm than good.”

The Department of Health had said that it does not recommend the use of disinfection tents or misting as these can “cause pathogens to be dispersed further during spraying.”

“The most important thing is we continue to adapt as we discover new knowledge about COVID-19. Tulad na lamang na hindi makatutulong ang mga disinfection mist laban dito kaya naman we discourage the LGUs from using them sa kanilang mga nasasakupan,” Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.

Several local government units have employed such measures as a precautionary measure against COVID-19.

In some cities, sodium hypochlorite or household bleach is mixed with water and sprayed on streets using firetrucks, while people are made to enter disinfecting tents before being allowed inside buildings.

Thr DOH had said the practice shows that disinfection can result in asthma or dermatitis. It instead advised the public to “soak objects or disinfect surfaces to kill the virus.”

The DILG chief, however, clarified that misting can still be done on cars, rooms, buildings, and other inanimate objects. 

Local government units are instead encouraged to repurpose materials initially used for misting on people.

"LGUs are directed to utilize these materials and staff sa iba pang mga effort laban sa COVID-19,” Año said.