Wuhan virus: NEA sets up interim guidelines for cleaning and disinfection

People queue to purchase protective face masks, sanitisers and thermometers at a pharmacy in Singapore. (PHOTO: Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The National Environment Agency (NEA) has set up interim guidelines for non-healthcare premises and residential units to carry out cleaning and disinfection operations for areas exposed to confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus infection.

In a media statement released on Wednesday (29 January), NEA said that the interim guidelines outline details such as:

  • Cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces,

  • The use of appropriate disinfectants,

  • The proper use of personal protective equipment such as surgical masks and gloves,

  • The appropriate disposal of waste after clean-up.

These guidelines are set up in consultation with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Centre for Infectious Diseases. They are developed and tailored according to the type of premises, so that residents and owners are able to carry out cleaning and disinfection operations on their own.

As the transmission dynamics for the Wuhan virus have yet to be fully determined, such guidelines are interim in nature, and will be updated as more is known.

For hotels where confirmed cases of the Wuhan virus infection were reported, NEA has also provided contacts and helped liaise with cleaning companies that provide disinfection services.

Advisories to premises with high public access

NEA has also disseminated sanitation and hygiene advisories to hotels, public and private transport operators, and food and beverage outlets, including hawker centres – premises and facilities with high public access.

It has also strongly encouraged hotels and public and private transport operators to step up their cleaning standards, and implement measures to upkeep good public health hygiene.

These include:

  • Increasing the frequency of cleaning of areas with high contact points, such as toilets, lifts, refuse bins and hand rails,

  • Cleaning toilets regularly and paying attention to areas with high human contact, such as water taps, door/ towel/ cistern handles, seats and cover flaps, wash basins, grab poles, buttons and switches;

  • Ensuring that refuse bins are covered at all times, cleared daily and there is no spillage,

  • Ensuring that their staff practise good toilet habits, good personal hygiene and good food hygiene (for food and beverage outlets).

INFOGRAPHIC: National Environment Agency

Public encouraged to adopt good public hygiene habits

NEA has urged collective efforts and cooperations from all parties, so as to help ensure the safety of occupants and visitors coming through their premises.

The public are also encourage to adopt good habits of public hygiene. They include:

  • Avoiding contact with live animals including poultry and birds, and consumption of raw and undercooked meats,

  • Avoiding close contact with people who are unwell or showing symptoms of illness;

  • Observing good personal hygiene;

  • Practising frequent hand washing with soap (for example: before handling food or eating, after going to the toilet, or when hands are dirtied by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing),

  • Wearing a mask if one has respiratory symptoms, such as a cough or shortness of breath;

  • Covering the mouth with a tissue if one has to cough or sneeze, immediately disposing of the soiled tissue in the rubbish bin, and washing hands with soap

  • Seeking medical attention promptly if unwell.

The public may refer to the NEA website link for more information on the interim guidelines. For queries, they may contact NEA at the 24-hour hotline at 1800-2255632.

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