Decontamination chambers for normal people not recommended - Dr. Lakshman Gamlath | Sunday Observer

Decontamination chambers for normal people not recommended - Dr. Lakshman Gamlath

Dr. Anil Jasinghe & Dr. Lakshman Gamlath
Dr. Anil Jasinghe & Dr. Lakshman Gamlath

The best weapon against Covid-19 is quarantine and a suspected person can be released after a quarantine period but not soon after the PCR Test with a negative result. The WHO has not recognised Rapid tests and Antibody tests to detect Covid-19, Health Services Director General Dr. Anil Jasinghe said.

According to Dr. Jasinghe, when we suspect that a person is infected with Covid-19, we must quarantine him/her for 14 days and then do the PCR Tests if required. But it is impossible to do the PCR Tests immediately for a suspected person and release him/her without quarantine because the PCR Test result could become positive in the next few days.

Dr. Jasinghe said there are no diseases spread through viruses in the country now due to the good health practices and social distancing being followed. In the past, there were regular flus. The PCR Test gives a false sense of security. Therefore, if the authorities release a suspected person without quarantine after the PCR Test, he/she could spread the coronavirus all over the country thinking that it is just a normal flu because the PCR Test was negative.

Dr. Jasinghe said that Covid-19 spreads in closed environments such as small air conditioned spaces. Some air conditioning systems rotate air trapped in the room. But the authorities cannot order the air conditioners to be removed. The people should be vigilant while in such environments. The use of decontamination chambers for ordinary people as a preventive measure of Covid-19 gives a false sense of security.

Deputy Director General (Environmental, Occupational Health and Food Safety) of the Health Ministry Dr. Lakshman Gamlath said the WHO has not recommended the use of decontamination chambers for normal people as a preventive measure of Covid-19. Spraying of chlorine on individuals could lead to irritation of eyes and skin. UV light can cause skin cancer. These chambers spray disinfectants to the hands and not to the palms which is essential.

Air conditioning with air that circulates internally could be an issue in an asymptomatic Covid-19 patient who works in an office environment (department). State and private institutions are encouraged to use air conditioning systems that take air from outside which helps to prevent possible Covid-19 infections within a room.

There are other air conditioning systems that do not take air from outside, they cool the air locked inside the room.Dr. Gamlath said that if there is an asymptomatic Covid-19 patient who works in a room with air conditioning that does not take air from outside, there is a possibility that other workers could get infected with the disease. 

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