SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur (MindaNews / 23 March) — The local water utility here has offered local government units (LGUs) in the province free technical services on how to formulate water-based chlorine disinfectant to combat the dreaded coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“We want to help capacitate LGUs down to the purok (sub-village) level on the right mixture of chlorine and water, and the proper application when disinfecting open areas to keep their surroundings COVID-19 free,” said Elmer Luzon, general manager of San Francisco Water District (SFWD).
Over the years, the Department of Health has recognized the SFWD laboratory with excellent rating for its proficient testing. Many private companies and government institutions have been sending samples to the laboratory for bacteriological, physical and chemical tests.
Since last week, the SFWD has been giving free bottles of ready-to-use chlorine disinfectants to their clients having transaction in their office.
As a preventive measure, clients going inside the SFWD building have been required to step on the foot bath and wash their hands with soap and observe a meter of social distancing when queuing to pay their water bills. A 70 percent Isopropyl alcohol is available for use to everyone
Luzon said it is important to have the proper mixture of chlorine and water to totally eradicate COVID-19 from the surface.
“Improper mixture would just temporarily collapse the virus but not kill them,” he emphasized.
Ruben Jarabata, Jr., SFWD senior chemist, said the proper scientific mixture is seven grams of chlorine granules for every liter of water.
He recommended to the municipal health office to regularly disinfect public places twice or thrice a day to ensure that the dreaded virus cannot penetrate the municipality.
Jarabata warned the chlorine disinfectant is not intended for hand washing and should be avoided for skin and eye contact.
He advised those who will do the backpack spraying to wear protective gears such as goggles, masks, gloves and aprons and that they must be aware that it is harmful to aquatic environment and plants.
He stressed the disinfectant can eliminate coronavirus on surfaces such as plastic tiles and ceramics.
Jarabata reminded those who will spray to avoid hitting metal surfaces because it is corrosive.
The New York Times, citing experts, reported that the coronavirus can survive on hard surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel up to 72 hours and on cardboard up to 24 hours.
Jarabata said the SFWD also gives free disinfectant with lower chlorine concentration for hand washing and for foot bath use.