Uttarakhand and Tamil Nadu are working towards halting the use of disinfection tunnels. These tunnels, which work as a disinfecting apparatus, are said to fight the spread of coronavirus infection in public places.
Disinfection tunnels are coming up at places of public footfall, such as wholesale vegetable markets, railway stations, farmer markets and other public places.
According to this report in Uttarakhand, the health authorities have taken note of such tunnels coming up in the state, and have said that there is no scientific basis to them, they are not even in line with the government guidelines, and that their use must be halted. One such sanitising tunnel is reported to have come up in Haldwani.
Similar developments have taken place in Tamil Nadu.
According to this report, the Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine in Tamil Nadu “has directed officials not to use that disinfection tunnels.” (sic)
The report states that the order mentions that the disinfection tunnels will create “a false sense of security and people may be diverted from hand washing to disinfection tunnels.”
The report adds the order mentioning: In addition, the spraying of alcohol/chlorine/Lysol on human beings is not only harmful but also ineffective. Under the above circumstances, it is instructed that disinfection tunnels should not be installed and used.
The letter of order has been sent to senior health officials across the state, as per the report.
Here is how the disinfecting tunnels function – as per reports. There are nozzles inside the tunnel. They spray “a mist of sodium hypochlorite solution” on people passing through the tunnel. The India Today report adds, “a chemical component used in bleach, sodium hypochlorite is also referred to as Dakin’s solution.
The presence of such tunnels and the concept of the disinfecting apparatus is raising concerns regarding the monitoring of the apparatus, their impact and effects on people who pass through them.