DOH cautions public vs UV disinfection devices
Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - September 22, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) has cautioned the public against the dangers of using ultraviolet (UV) ray disinfection devices sold in the market as a protective measure against the coronavirus disease 2019.

At last Friday’s virtual briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the DOH is not recommending to the public any device using UV light for disinfection and sterilization.

Vergeire said UV rays pose harmful effects to humans when used incorrectly.

“If an individual does not know how to use the UV light properly, it can cause skin burns or affect the eyes,” she said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) previously warned the public that UV radiation could cause skin irritation and damage to the eyes.

While UV light has been used for disinfection in hospitals and other health facilities long before the coronavirus pandemic, Vergeire stressed that strict rules are observed in using it.

“Based on our protocol what we recommend – and this is supported by evidence – is directly wiping off surfaces using disinfectant (to kill the virus),” she said.

“When it comes to UV light, there is no sufficient evidence what type and dosage of UV light would be enough to kill the SARS-COVID 2 virus,” she added.

For the protection of the public, especially children, Vergeire encouraged those interested to use UV light for disinfection to first learn the process and be guided by its proper use.

The WHO said cleaning hands with alcohol-based sanitizer or washing with soap and water are still the most effective ways to remove the virus.

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