Leave UV light disinfection to hospitals and medical pros, says PH Health Dep’t

<i>Photo: Unsplash</i>
Photo: Unsplash

Using ultraviolet light to disinfect surfaces is best left to medical professionals and Filipinos should be wary of using it at home against the coronavirus, the Department of Health said yesterday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online presser that while hospitals have been using UV light in disinfection procedures for some time even before the pandemic, there is not enough data to support its effectiveness against COVID-19.

“When it comes to UV light, there is not enough evidence up until now about the type and dose of UV that can have the right effect to the SARS-COV-2 virus…done in a proper manner, our health facilities know how to use it and how much dosage is required,” Vergeire said.

Read: Filipina chemist in Quezon City makes disinfectant alcohol to give away for free

She reminded Filipinos that any new item being brought inside their homes should be disinfected as a safety protocol, and handling UV light improperly may cause “harmful effects” like causing burning sensations in the skin and eyes.

“Our main recommendation and this is supported by evidence, is direct wiping of surfaces using a disinfectant with a rug, spraying is not recommended because it can aerosolize the virus,” Vergeire stressed.

While some scientists have said that the right dosage of UV light can kill the coronavirus, the World Health Organization has neither dispelled nor approved its use. It did, however, strongly advised against using UV lamps to disinfect hands and other areas of the skin which will cause damage and irritation, maintaining that washing your hands with soap and water or cleaning it with an alcohol-based solution are “still the most effective way to remove the virus.”

The Philippines currently has 272,934 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 4,732 deaths, and 207,858 recoveries.

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