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Jamaicans Warned Against Using “Unknown” Solutions To Wash Hands

KINGSTON, Jamaica, March 26, 2020 (CMC) – Jamaica health authorities are warning businesses, against spraying customers’ hands with unknown solutions in bottles, prior to allowing them to enter their establishments, in a bid to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID).

Director for the Emergency, Disaster Management and Special Services Branch at the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Dr. Nicole Dawkins-Wright, said the practice is wrong and may have harmful effects.

She told the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) that persons, who appear to be having reactions to chemicals that have been sprayed on their hands, have been presenting at public health centres, and urged business establishments to follow the guidelines, issued by the relevant health authorities.

“Provide a safe solution to proper hand hygiene, wall-mounted sanitisers and hand-wash stations. You have little mobile ones that are ready to install, with soap and water, which is really the best way and works better than an alcohol-based sanitizer,” she said.

“So organizations are encouraged, if you are seriously concerned, to take this approach, rather than having a security officer spraying persons as they come in. The truth is that you may actually be doing more harm than good, both to the person you are spraying and even to the person who is spraying,” Dr. Dawkins-Wright warned.

She said that not only are persons unaware of what is contained in the spray bottle, they are also being exposed to it, in excessive amounts.

The Emergency, Disaster Management and Special Services Branch Director also issued a strong warning against mixing chemicals to create the sanitising agents.

“It has come to our attention that persons are mixing chemicals, and they don’t know what they are producing, when they mix chemicals. Some of these mixtures produce very noxious fumes, which can actually be very harmful, so please desist from that practice and install proper safe solutions to help with the sanitisation measures,” she said.

Jamaica has so far reported 26 cases of the coronavirus that has killed more than 18,000 worldwide, since it was first detected in China in December, last year.

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