The government on Wednesday warned that misting and spraying can be dangerous, citing the death of a member of the Philippine National Police who inhaled a toxic disinfectant.

SPRAY MISTY FOR ME Workers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport pass through a mist of disinfectant before entering the airport even after the Department of Health warned that there was no evidence to support that the spray could kill the novel coronavirus. The government on Wednesday warned that misting and spraying can be dangerous. PHOTO BY J. GERARD SEGUIA

Capt. Casey Gutierrez died at the Philippine Sports Arena Quarantine Facility in Pasig City on May 30.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said an investigation is ongoing.

“Titignan natin kung may violations ba or breaches in protocol na nangyari at ang mananaig d’yan ay mga patakaran at batas na mayroon tayo sa bansa. (We will see if there are violations or breaches in protocol and these will be subject to the rules and laws in our country)” Vergeire said in a press briefing.

She explained that while misting and spraying are common in healthcare settings especially during the decontamination process, these are dangerous when people are sprayed with disinfectant.

“Misting and spraying are not really recommended for direct spraying sa mga tao (on people),” Vergeire added.

The Department of Health issued in April a memorandum prohibiting the installation of misting tents in public places and spraying of individuals.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año also reiterated the ban on misting and spraying.

“Tiyakin ninyong wala ng susunod na ganitong insidente (Make sure that no similar incident will happen),” Año said of Gutierrez’s  death.

Año said local government units (LGUs) and all the attached agencies of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, including the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and Bureau of Fire Protection should be aware of the dangers of misting and spraying chemicals.

In an advisory in April, he advised LGUs to prohibit the use of disinfection tents, misting chambers or sanitation booths for individuals without personal protective equipment.

“Let’s be informed of the dos and don’ts as we continue to fight Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) in a concerted and scientific-based efforts and strategy,” Año said.

“LGUs and all public and private establishments are reminded that misting causes additional health concern because pathogens may be dispersed further, may result in skin irritation and inhalation of chemicals, and could even cause environmental pollution,” he added.

With reports from DARWIN PESCO