The Federal Impact: TN asks Collectors not to set up disinfectant tunnels

Experts tell CM that tunnels spraying sodium hypochlorite won't kill the virus but could harm humans instead

The experts had told the Chief Minister that spraying of sodium hypochlorite — the main ingredient in bleach — in the tunnels would be harmful to humans. Photo: PTI

A day after The Federal published a story pointing out that COVID-19 disinfectant tunnels may harm humans more than the virus, the Tamil Nadu government on Friday (April 10) instructed Collectors across the state to refrain from setting up such tunnels.

The government has taken the decision after Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami held a meeting through video conferencing with medical experts. The experts had told the Chief Minister that spraying of sodium hypochlorite — the main ingredient in bleach — in the tunnels would be harmful to humans.

They also pointed out that there was no scientific proof of the effectiveness of the tunnels. At low concentration, the chemical compound will not have any effect on the virus. If it is used at a higher level, it will cause irritation to eyes and skin, the experts told the CM.

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In the absence of any scientific study, the public should not be misled about passing through a disinfection tunnel would kill the virus. Instead, washing hands with soap has been found to be extremely effective to prevent the spread of the virus, an instruction to Collectors read.

The Federal spoke to five Collectors, who confirmed that they had received the instruction. In many districts, disinfectant tunnels have been set in various places. A Collector, who did not want to be named, said they would be removing the existing tunnels.

“We didn’t know that it [tunnel] would not be effective and would harm the people. But, now as we have got the instructions, we will remove the existing tunnels in our district,” said the Collector.

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