Rescue agency to disinfect entire Peshawar city to stem coronavirus spread

As Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa goes into near-lockdown amid multiplying cases of COVID-19 infections, a top local rescue agency has decided to disinfect the entire city in an effort to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus in the province.

During the massive operation, Rescue 1122 workers will spray disinfectant solution, including chlorine, in all streets and roads of the city. The provincial chief secretary and the secretary relief visited the head office of Rescue 1122 on Sunday to get a briefing on the operation.

Rescue 1122 Director General Dr Khateer updated the two government officials on the efforts made by his agency for the prevention of the viral spread in the city thus far. “We will spray antiseptic solutions on the streets and roads,” he said.

“Staying within our resources, we are repurposing our fire engines for the disinfection operation,” he added. “Since the novel coronavirus can survive on the surface, we’re expecting our operation will yield good results in containing the infestation.”

Dr Khateer said all streets and roads would be washed and wiped and disinfected with chlorine solution. “The staff carrying out the operation has been equipped with protective suits and N95 masks.”

Experts are not sure how long the highly contagious pathogen can survive on surfaces, but say it could range from a few hours to a day or so. Spraying disinfectant solutions into the air is probably not an effective way to kill the virus, but wiping down highly touched surfaces is.

Across the world, disinfection teams have descended upon schools, parks, government buildings, markets, mosques, airports, and public roads. Teams of hazmat-suited workers are spraying low-concentration bleach-and-water mixtures from trucks, guns, drones, and robots.