COVID-19 pandemic has many aspects of Singaporean lives. The most noticeable change is in the aspect of hygiene and cleanliness. All Singaporeans wear masks whenever they go out of their homes, and hand sanitisers are seen everywhere across public places in Singapore.
Whether it is in a mall, a school, a hospital, or an office, disinfection practices have been revised to include methods that can reduce the potential contamination of COVID-19 virus in the premises. This article walks you through the guidelines for cleaning and disinfection in the context of COVID-19 for Singapore offices.
Guidelines For Cleaning And Sanitation Of The Office Premises
The National Environment Agency, in consultation with the Ministry of Health and the National Centre for Infectious Diseases, has introduced interim guidelines to aid non-healthcare settings, including office and business operators, to carry out cleaning and sanitation activities for their working areas, especially on areas which have been exposed to confirm cases of the COVID-19 virus.
Guidelines On Surface Disinfection For Covid-19 In Offices
The National Environment Agency has offered a list of active ingredients, household disinfectant, and cleaning products for COVID-19 virus disinfection. These products consist of at least one ingredient that is effective against the virus. Also, NEA has laid down safe and effective application techniques for chemical disinfection.
Active Ingredients In Disinfectant
Back on February 4th, 2020, the NEA has released the list of active ingredients and their effective working concentration against Coronaviruses. Some of these active ingredients and their working concentrations include:
- Accelerated hydrogen peroxide: 0.5%
- Benzalkonium chloride: 0.05%
- Chloroxylenol: 0.12%
- Ethyl alcohol: 70%
- Isopropanol: 50%
Using the right concentration of the active ingredients is not the only factor affecting the effectiveness of a disinfection process. The office cleaning procedure should also include the effective contact time of these active ingredients.
Before purchasing and using cleaning products containing approved active ingredients, users are advised to read the product labels to understand their dangers and to make sure the product satisfies the guidelines for effectiveness against coronaviruses. Suppliers and importers of the disinfectant products should also get data that show the safety and effectiveness of the products, including data which support the claims.
Safe And Effective Application Of Chemical Disinfection Methods
The following are some application guidelines that NEA provides for safe and effective premises disinfection.
- Wipe-down: NEA recommends wiping down surfaces with an effective chemical disinfectant. This method involved two modes of action in decreasing bio risks: disinfection and removal of viruses and organic matters which can interfere with the disinfection process. Other application modes should not replace the wipe-down method completely and can only be considered a supplement to it.
- Whole room fumigation: This method involves the decontamination of an entire room by using chemical vapour or mist and maintaining the necessary concentration within the right duration. The room will then be aerated to eliminate any remaining chemical disinfectant. In hospitals and laboratories, this method is usually performed with chlorine dioxide or hydrogen peroxide. When using this method, however, users should take note of some points, which include properly sealing the room to block the escape of chemical vapours, evacuation of all employees from the room, and closely monitor the room to make sure both operators and bystanders do not get exposed to a chemical level beyond the safety limit.
- Handheld misters: This method is carried out by spraying a mist of disinfectant fluids onto a surface for disinfection. Another variant of this method is the use of an electrostatic sprayer. This device delivers charged droplets which are attracted to surfaces, causing a more uniform disinfectant layer on the surface.
Cleaning Assistance Scheme For Offices
Private offices in non-retail buildings are entitled to the cleaning assistance scheme or CAS. The scheme is only applicable to settings with confirmed COVID-19 cases and notified by MOH or NEA to perform disinfection works. Also, only third-party expenses of professional cleaning and disinfection services are supportable.
Businesses intending to apply for this scheme, however, must meet the following conditions:
- The business entity is incorporated or registered in Singapore
- The company has a minimum of thirty per cent local shareholding
- The company has a group annual sales turnover of not exceeding SGD 100 million, or the company’s size of group employment does not exceed more than two hundred personnel
When selecting the right disinfectant for your office to use against coronavirus, first understand the efficacy of its active ingredients, as well as its limitations and potential dangers. If you lack the knowledge to carry out the cleaning and disinfection process properly, you should seek help from professional office cleaning services or office disinfection services in Singapore.