DGS issues guidance for establishments on surface cleaning

in News · 22-03-2020 15:00:00 · 0 Comments

The Directorate-General for Health (DGS) has issued guidelines for public service establishments on how to clean and disinfect surfaces to prevent the spread of infection by the new coronavirus.

Each organisation must prepare its contingency plan for the covid-19, establish a plan for cleaning and sanitizing the facilities, which must be posted in a visible place, and there must also be a cleaning registration system with identification of the persons responsible and the frequency with which it is performed, it reads in the guideline "Cleaning and disinfection of surfaces in public service establishments or similar".

"In this phase, the cleaning frequency should be increased, not just meeting the usual cleaning schedules previously stipulated, cleaning professionals should know the products to be used (detergents and disinfectants)" and the precautions to be taken when handling them, recommends the document released on Saturday and published on the DGS website.

These establishments must also ensure that employees are aware of compliance with respiratory etiquette rules, correct hand washing, as well as other hygiene and environmental control measures.

They must also ensure “good ventilation during cleaning and disinfection”, but also all citizens, families and professionals in their workplaces, must be concerned “with maintaining the routine cleaning of surfaces, especially those where everyone frequently touches ”.

The health authority recalls that "the virus remains on surfaces for a period of time that can range from a few hours to six days, and the frequent cleaning and disinfection of the spaces significantly reduces this period".

Since the establishments are “frequented and exposed to several people and on an ongoing basis”, they can contribute to the indirect transmission of the virus and, as such, “additional care measures must be taken in cleaning and disinfecting surfaces”.

“If there is no adequate cleaning and disinfection, and the frequency is increased, the surfaces can become reservoirs for viruses and other microorganisms”, says the DGS, noting that the risk of this contagion varies according to the frequency of manipulation, touch or use.

According to the health authority, the surfaces at greatest risk are those that are touched by many people and very often, such as door handles, light switches, phones, 'tablets' and computer keyboards, elevator buttons, washbasin taps , flushing handles, tables, benches, chairs, handrails, toys in playrooms for children in public spaces and money, among others.

Regarding the cleaning technique, DGS determines that it must “always be moist”, and dry vacuum cleaners should not be used in public areas, unless they are vacuum cleaners with a water tank that collects dirt in the water.

There must be different cleaning materials (for exclusive use) according to the risk level of the areas to be cleaned, and the cleaning cloths should preferably be single use and disposable.

Portugal, which registered on Saturday 12 deaths and 1,280 confirmed infections, has been in a state of emergency since 00:00 on Thursday and until 23:59 on 02 April.


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