NEA-SG lists household cleaning products effective against the Wuhan coronavirus

February 10, 2020

Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) has published an “interim set of guidelines” listing disinfectants/cleaning products said to be effective against the Wuhan coronavirus that has gripped people’s consciousness as of late. The guidelines will help maintain a high level of public hygiene and ensures the safety of both public and private places. Products listed by NEA comprise one of three active ingredients — quaternary ammonium compounds, chloroxylenol and sodium hypochlorite. NEA also included a separate list of active ingredients so that people can screen products that they intend to purchase. The lists will be updated regularly.

According to NEA, homes which may have been exposed to the Wuhan virus should be sanitised by mopping the floors with disinfectant twice. The homeowners should also don masks and gloves before mopping and keep the windows open for ventilation; immediately after, a shower and change of clothes is recommended.

Other than cleaning agents, the use of steam and heat treatment are also effective in eliminating germs from contaminated surfaces in the home and in public areas.

When it comes to hand sanitisers, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that sanitisers with 60-95% alcohol work much better than those with little or no alcohol in them – but you must use enough of it to cover your hands and leave it to dry naturally for about 20 seconds.

As for antiseptic wipes, they should contain at least 40% alcohol to be effective against germs. However, Dr. Kalisvar Marimuthu, Senior Consultant at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) said antiseptic wipes should be used for cleaning environmental surfaces and not for hands.

Besides the authorities’ maintenance of public health, members of the public are likewise encouraged to adopt these practices to keep virus transmission and infection at bay:-

  • Avoid contact with live animals, poultry and birds and consumption of raw/undercooked meat;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell;
  • Practice frequent hand washing with soap and observe good personal hygiene;
  • Only wear a mask if you have respiratory symptoms, such as a cough, and seek medical attention promptly


Category: Features, Top Story

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