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Uproar over video of schoolgirls being fumigated for Covid-19 – VIDEO

By Hilary Kimuyu October 13th, 2020 2 min read

A video clip showing schoolgirls being fumigated as they reported back to school on Monday, has sparked wide uproar among Kenyans.

The clip shared on social media showed girls dressed in uniform getting sprayed by a man who had mounted a knapsack sprayer commonly used for pest and disease control.

The unidentified school took the shocking steps despite the government banning spraying disinfectants or chemicals on people through booths or tunnels.

According to Ministry of Health Director-General Patrick Amoth, such spraying poses health risks and does not eliminate Covid-19.

In June, Dr Amoth said the chemicals are not designed for use on human bodies and could be dangerous for those with respiratory problems and allergies.

In the viral clip, the girls were sprayed with the chemical intended to disinfect them as the school’s measures to contain Covid-19 as had been directed by MoH as learning resumed.

The education ministry ordered the re-opening of schools on Monday after a long break occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic that forced closure in March.

The ministry allowed learners in Grade 4, Standard 8 and Form 4 to report back to school for physical learning, as parents await communication on when other classes will resume.

The schools were reopened under tough measures to tame the virus, including social distancing in class, wearing face masks and having water at designated points for washing hands.

According to the World Health Organisation, spraying can be ineffective and that the chemicals are dangerous.

“This could be physically and psychologically harmful and would not reduce an infected person’s ability to spread the virus through droplets or contact,” says the document.

Spraying chlorine or other toxic chemicals on people can cause eye and skin irritation, bronchospasm and gastrointestinal effects, it adds.

WHO advises that if disinfectants are to be applied, this should be done with a cloth or wipe that has been soaked in disinfectant.

The chemicals that the countries are using can irritate the skin, eyes, nose and mouth and the respiratory tract.

Additionally, they can irritate the digestive tract, cause cancer, and can generate air pollution in the form of ozone.

A number of netizens reacted to the video by calling out the school for exposing the girls to inhumane treatment in the name of their disinfection.