Coronavirus : Recommended disinfectants for cleaning homes, health facilities and environment

Environmental cleaning in healthcare facilities or homes housing patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection should use disinfectants that are active against enveloped viruses, such as COVID-19 and other coronaviruses. There are many disinfectants, including commonly used hospital disinfectants, that are active against enveloped viruses. Currently WHO recommendations include the use of: 70% Ethyl alcohol…

Do patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 need to be hospitalized if they have mild illness?

No. For patients who have mild illness, e.g., low-grade fever, cough, malaise, rhinorrhoea, sore throat without any warning signs, such as shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing, increased respiratory (i.e. sputum or haemoptysis), gastro-intestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhoea and without changes in mental status, hospitalization may not be required unless there…

Can patients with suspected and confirmed COVID-19 infection be cohorted in the same room?

Ideally, suspected and confirmed 2019-nCoV acure respiratory disease patients should be isolated in single rooms. However, when this is not feasible (e.g., limited number of single rooms), cohorting is an acceptable option. Some patients with suspected 2019-nCoV infection may actually have other respiratory illnesses, hence they must be cohorted separately from patients with confirmed COVID-19…

Does WHO recommend routine wearing masks for healthy people during the COVID-19 outbreak?

No. WHO does not recommend that asymptomatic individuals (i.e., who do not have respiratory symptoms) in the community should wear medical masks, as currently there is no evidence that routine use of medical masks by healthy individuals prevents 2019-nCoV transmission. Masks are recommended to be used by symptomatic persons in the community. Misuse and overuse…

Can disposable medical face masks be sterilized and reused?

No. Disposable medical face masks are intended for a single use only. After use they should be removed using appropriate techniques (i.e. do no touch the front, remove by pulling the elastic ear straps or laces from behind) and disposed of immediately in an infectious waste bin with a lid, followed by hand hygiene.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers (HCW) caring for patients with suspected or confirmed 2019-nCoV infection?

Current WHO guidance for HCW caring for suspected or confirmed 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease patients recommends the use of contact and droplet precautions, in addition to standard precautions which should always be used by all HCW for all patients. In terms of PPE, contact and droplet precautions include wearing disposable gloves to protect hands, and…

Should blood centers routinely screen blood products for COVID-19 virus?

No, although RNA fragments of SARS-CoV-2 were detected in blood of symptomatic COVID-19 patients, this does not mean that the virus is viable/infectious. In general, respiratory viruses are not known to be transmitted by blood transfusion. Blood centers should have routine blood donor screening measures in place to prevent individuals with respiratory symptoms or fever…

What personal protective equipment (PPE) should be used by healthcare workers (HCW) performing nasopharyngeal (NP) or oropharyngeal (OP) swabs on patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19?

Health care workers collecting NP and OP swab specimens from suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients should be well-trained on the procedure and should wear a clean, non-sterile, long-sleeve gown, a medical mask, eye protection (i.e., googles or face shield), and gloves. Procedure should be conducted in a separate/isolation room, and during NP specimen collection health…

What are the recommendation regarding disinfection of vehicles, goods and products coming from China or other COVID-19 affected countries?

To date there is no epidemiological information to suggest that contact with goods, products or vehicles shipped from COVID-19 affected countries have been the source of COVID-19 in humans. For these reasons, there is no disinfection recommendations for any goods and products coming from COVID-19 affected countries given that there is no available evidence that…

How can you clean soiled bedding, towels and linens from patients with COVID-19?

All individuals dealing with soiled bedding, towels and clothes from patients with COVID-19 should: ¬†Wear appropriate personal protective equipment, which includes heavy duty gloves, mask, eye protection (face shield/goggles), long-sleeved gown, apron (if gown is not fluid resistant), boots or closed shoes before touching any soiled linen. Never carry soiled linen against body; place soiled…