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Information Regarding 2019 Novel Coronavirus(2019-nCoV)

We have been trying to keep updated with any information regarding what to use and how to handle areas to clean in regard to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

There has been information passed on social media with pictures of cleaning products that can be used on areas infected with Corona virus and lots of hype as to how this was already on labels when it is a new and unknown virus. Coronaviruses are not new this particular strain 2019 Novel Coronavirus is a new strain.

Please see following information on what is a Coronavirus.

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
This strain is still very new and the experts are working hard to identify ways to vaccine against it and indeed ways to help prevent the spread. We are being asked by an increasing amount of clients about extra cleaning and it is only a matter of time before we could be faced with this virus present in one of the contracts where we clean.
There is no miracle product on the market that can claim to kill this strain. There is very little information coming from the product manufacturers with recommendations of what to use. This would suggest that the powers that be have limited knowledge of how to deal with this at this time.
I feel that we should be doing something to help the situation and with this in mind can only suggest that we clean all our medical practices and schools with Selgiene Ultra for the foreseeable future and use disposable cloths on these contracts. We also need to implement the use of disposable gloves on these contracts.
Selgiene Ultra was one of the first recommended products to use when there was the problem with the Swine Flu outbreak. It also kills a number of other viruses including HIV, Hepatitis C Influenza viruses ( among others)

It is vital that you train your operatives on these high priority contracts in the safe, proper use of this method of cleaning.

The following method needs to be followed:
Use Selgiene Ultra – two litres of warm water in a hand bucket with 7 pumps (200ml/ 7 pumps is 210ml) of product.
Use disposable cloth – take a cloth and fold it three times to provide a small hand sized rectangle, immerse the cloth in the solution and damp wipe the surface , unfolding and refolding the cloth as the surface is cleaned.
Dispose of the cloth and gloves upon completion that day.
Colour coding to be followed accordingly.
The importance of hand washing must be explained to all staff as prevention is the best policy.
It is not recommended to spray clean surfaces when there is a risk to spreading microorganisms. Damp wiping contains any potential cross contamination.

Interim Guidelines for Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection of Areas Exposed to Confirmed Case(s) of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Non-Healthcare Commercial Premises
First Released on 26 January 2020
Revised on 05 February 2020

This document provides guidance by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Environment Agency (NEA), of Singapore, to assist owners or operators of non-healthcare premises to carry out environmental cleaning, for areas exposed to confirmed case(s) of novel coronavirus in non-healthcare premises.

This is an interim guidance, as transmission dynamics for the novel coronavirus are yet to be fully determined.

This document has been adapted from guidance documents from the Ministry of Health (MOH), Singapore1 and the World Health Organization (WHO)2.

A. Cleaning agents and disinfectants

1. As the virus can survive on surfaces of different materials for at least 2 to 3 days, surfaces potentially contaminated with novel coronavirus should be sanitised.
2. An appropriate disinfectant with indication of effectiveness against coronaviruses can be used. Disinfectants should be prepared and applied in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendation. Ensure that appropriate contact time is given before removing any disinfected materials. Please refer to the “Interim List of Household Products and Active Ingredients for Disinfection of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)” for a list of disinfectants that can be used.
3. Bleach can be used as a disinfectant for cleaning and disinfection (dilute 1 part bleach in 49 parts water, 1000 ppm or according to manufacturer’s instructions). Bleach solutions should be prepared fresh. Leaving the bleach solution for a contact time of at least 10 minutes is recommended.
4. Alcohol (e.g. isopropyl 70%, ethyl alcohol 60%) can be used to wipe down surfaces where the use of bleach is not suitable, e.g. metal.

B. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to wear while carrying out cleaning and disinfection works

1. Wear disposable gloves, disposable long-sleeved gowns, eye goggles or a face shield, and an N95 mask.
2. Avoid touching the nose and mouth (goggles may help as they will prevent hands from touching eyes).
3. Gloves should be removed and discarded if they become soiled or damaged, and a new pair worn.
4. All other disposable PPE should be removed and discarded after cleaning activities are completed. Eye goggles, if used, should be disinfected after each use, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
5. When in doubt, refer to guidance documents for the proper donning and doffing of PPE3.
6. Hands should be washed with soap and water immediately after each piece of PPE is removed, following completion of cleaning.
N.B.: Masks are effective if worn according to instructions and properly fitted. Masks should be discarded and changed if they become physically damaged.

C. Cleaning guidelines for areas exposed to confirmed case(s) of novel coronavirus in non-healthcare commercial premises

1. Where possible, seal off areas where the confirmed case has visited, before carrying out cleaning and disinfection of the contaminated environmental surfaces. This is to prevent unsuspecting persons from being exposed to those surfaces.
2. When cleaning areas where a confirmed case has been, cleaning crews should be attired in suitable PPE (see Section B above). Gloves should be removed and discarded if they become soiled or damaged, and a new pair worn. All other disposable PPE should be removed and discarded, after cleaning activities are completed. Goggles, if used, should be disinfected after each use, according to manufacturer’s instructions. Hands should be washed with soap and water immediately after the PPE is removed.
3. Keep cleaning equipment to a minimum.
4. Keep windows open for ventilation, where workers are using disinfectants.
5. Mop floor with disinfectant or the prepared bleach solution.
6. Wipe all frequently touched areas (e.g. lift buttons, hand rails, doorknobs, arm rests, seat backs, tables, air/ light controls, keyboards, switches, etc.) and toilet surfaces with chemical disinfectants (use according to manufacturer’s instructions) and allow to air dry. Bleach solution (dilute 1 part bleach in 49 parts water, 1000 ppm or according to manufacturer’s instructions) can be used. Alcohol (e.g. isopropyl 70% or ethyl alcohol 70%) can be used for surfaces, where the use of bleach is not suitable.
7. Clean toilets, including the toilet bowl and accessible surfaces in the toilet with disinfectant or bleach solution.
8. Wipe down all accessible surfaces of walls as well as blinds with disinfectant or bleach solution.
9. Remove curtains/ fabrics/ quilts for washing, preferably using the hot water cycle. For hot-water laundry cycles, wash with detergent or disinfectant in water at 70ºC for at least 25 minutes. If low-temperature (i.e. less than 70ºC) laundry cycles are used, choose a chemical that is suitable for low-temperature washing when used at the proper concentration.
10. Arrange for a cleaning contractor to properly disinfect the mattresses, pillows, cushions or carpets that have been used by the person who has been confirmed to have the novel coronavirus.
11. Repeat mopping the floor with the prepared disinfectant or bleach solution.
12. Discard cleaning equipment made of cloths and absorbent materials, e.g. mop head and wiping cloths, into biohazard bags after cleaning and disinfecting each area. Wear a new pair of gloves and fasten the double-bagged biohazard bag with a cable tie.
13. Disinfect non-porous cleaning equipment used in one room, before using for other rooms. If possible, keep the disinfecting equipment separated from other routine equipment.
14. Disinfect buckets by soaking in disinfectant or bleach solution, or rinse in hot water before filling.
15. Discard equipment made of cloths/ absorbent materials (e.g. mop head and wiping cloths) after cleaning each area, to prevent cross contamination.
16. Disinfectant or bleach solution should be applied to surfaces using a damp cloth. They should not be applied to surfaces using a spray pack, as coverage is uncertain and spraying may promote the production of aerosols. The creation of aerosols caused by splashing liquid during cleaning should be avoided. A steady sweeping motion should be used when cleaning either floors or horizontal surfaces, to prevent the creation of aerosols or splashing. Cleaning methods that might aerosolize infectious material, such as the use of compressed air, must not be used.
17. Leave the disinfected area, and avoid using the area the next day.
18. Biohazard bags should be properly disposed of, upon completion of the disinfection work.

D. Precautions to take after completing the clean-up and disinfection of the affected area

1. Cleaning crews should wash their hands with soap and water immediately after removing the PPE, and when cleaning and disinfection work is completed.
2. Discard all used PPE in a double-bagged biohazard bag, which should then be securely sealed and labelled.
3. The crew should be aware of the symptoms, and should report to their occupational health service if they develop symptoms.

Lisa Hill, Service Director