Malaysia Maintains Public Sanitation Without Basis Of Curbing Covid-19

By Kanmani Batumalai | 09 April 2021

The US CDC recently announced there’s little scientific support for routinely using disinfectants in community settings, whether indoor or outdoor, to prevent fomite transmission.

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 — Authorities will continue the sanitation and disinfection of public spaces, Dr Adham Baba said today, despite the lack of evidence that these activities reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

The United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced that there’s little scientific basis for routinely using disinfectants in community settings, whether indoor or outdoor, to prevent coronavirus transmission from fomites, or contaminated surfaces or objects. 

According to the CDC, the likelihood of contracting Covid-19 from touching contaminated surfaces is low at less than one in 10,000, as it said the main mode of Covid-19 infection is through exposure to respiratory droplets carrying the virus — either from direct contact, droplet transmission, or airborne transmission.

“Disinfection will be continued,” Health Minister Dr Adham told CodeBlue when contacted today.

Malaysia has been carrying out public sanitation and disinfection operations (Ops Sanitasi Awam) since the beginning of the Covid-19 epidemic last year. 

A total of 20,576 public sanitation operations across 154 zones in the country have been implemented since March 30 last year, Senior Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in a statement today. These disinfection exercises covered business premises, housing areas, public places, supermarkets, and government buildings.

Photos from the Fire and Rescue Department, which has been regularly carrying out public sanitation exercises, show officers misting walls of buildings. 

The new US CDC guideline also said that it is sufficient to use ordinary household cleaning products, like soap or detergent, on high-touch surfaces to further reduce the already low risk of fomite transmission in most situations, unless there is a confirmed or suspected Covid-19 case in an indoor setting within the last 24 hours that would then merit disinfection.

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