VIJAYAWADA/VISAKHAPATNAM/NELLORE: With the Centre releasing an advisory on chemicals to be used in disinfecting machines, the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) has removed two disinfection tunnels arranged at Indira Gandhi Municipal Corporation (IGMC) Stadium and Makineni Basavapunnaiah Stadium in the city. The advisory was released to avoid the health complications that may be caused to humans by getting disinfected through such tunnels on a daily basis.
“Right from the beginning, we are cautioning the authorities concerned not to instal disinfection tunnels and sanitise people with chemical disinfectant like sodium hypochlorite as it is physically and psychologically harmful to an individual. None of them considered our objections and arranged the disinfection tunnels at market places across the State,” said Dr G Shivaji, a skin specialist. Spraying of chlorine on individuals can lead to irritation of eyes, skin and potentially gastrointestinal effects such as nausea and vomiting.
In some cases, inhalation of the chemical disinfectant can lead to irritation of mucous membranes in the nose, throat and respiratory tract and may also cause bronchospasm, he added. Speaking to TNIE, VMC chief V Prasanna Venkatesh said that the municipal corporation had set up two disinfection tunnels in the city earlier this month as a measure to combat COVID-19. One with the support of a private hospital at IGMC Stadium and the other at MB Stadium to sanitise people visiting rythu bazars by spraying hypochlorite fumes.
However, considering the suggestions made by the health experts that spraying of chemicals such as sodium hypochlorite and hydrogen peroxide can be dangerous to human beings especially to eyes, nostrils and mouth, the VMC removed the two disinfection tunnels a couple of days ago, he said. The police also set up 3V Safe Tunnels at the Commissioner’s office in the city and at the DGP’s office in Mangalagiri. However, the two tunnels are still functioning as the authorities are using Sanmedin 10 per cent topical microbicidal solution for sanitisation purpose,
In Visakhapatnam, following the advisory, the GVMC authorities have swung into action. GVMC Chief Medical Officer of Health KSLG Sastry told TNIE that the government did not set up any disinfection tunnel in the city. However, some NGOs and institutions have set up the disinfection tunnels. The GVMC has advised those who set up disinfection tunnels at a couple of rythu bazars in the city to desist from spraying the chemical on people. In Nellore district, municipal officials of Kavali and Atmakur are likely to stop the use of disinfection tunnels. Kavali officials set up the disinfection tunnel near rythu bazar. Nellore city, which reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the district, has no such tunnel.