Nepal | July 14, 2020

People opting to sanitise homes, office spaces as COVID-19 infections keep rising everyday 


Bijay Laxmi Duwal
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Handsanitisers, gloves and masks were our first shield of protection against the spread of coronavirus. And now people have started sanitising their homes and offices as a precautionary measure as infections keep increasing nationwide.  

Muna Thapa had never sanitised her godown and store at Nayabazar before the lockdown. She chose to sanitise her godown and store along with the products there professionally for the first time on May 13.  

She explained, “My store is full of imported plastic items like buckets, ropes, chairs, et cetera. To ensure that they are virus-free, I decided to sanitise them.”  

Thapa also sanitised her home the same day.  

Rohit Karki of Balaju also got his home sanitised by a cleaning company recently.  

“A team of five members from a cleaning company sanitised the rooms, sofas, wardrobes and everywhere else except our kitchen. While they were sanitising, our family members stayed on the rooftop of our house wearing masks to avoid chemicals,” he informed. On May 12, an ATM counter of Laxmi Bank at Hattisar was sanitised by a cleaning company — a demo of sanitisation as per the bank’s request.  

Serving as per demand  

The demand for sanitising service in the Valley has seen a rise with the onset of COVID-19 pandemic. The service providers state they are delivering service as per demand. They get inquiries through personal links.  

VIP Cleaning and Multi Service at Balaju has been receiving around three to five inquries every day for sanitisation, as per the company’s MD Rajendra Lamichhane. Meanwhile, Khems Cleaning Service in Kupondole has been receiving a couple of requests daily from banks and other offices for their sanitising service, informed its COO Dinesh Thapa.  

VIP Cleaning and Multi Service, which had been shut after the announcement of the lockdown, resumed service from the third week into the lockdown. So far it has sanitisied a few schools, a hydropower company’s building, shops and some homes during the lockdown.  

Its Director Sudip Bastakoti said, “Though schools and offices are closed now, they have been using our service so they can prepare to open confidently after the lockdown.”  

Likewise, Dinesh Thapa informed, “Although our company is shut now, we have been continuing our service to our regular clients. We have also been providing free demonstration of sanitisation for a few banks.” He added, “Despite the demand, it is a challenge to work during the lockdown. Also, not all our staff are available for work right now. And we need to pick up and drop our staff at their homes.”  

How’s it cleaned?  

Lamichhane said they have been using sodium hydrochloride to sanitise infrastructure. But as such chemicals are harmful for the human body, he revealed, “We warn people that our service is to clean infrastructure like buildings and its amenities as the chemical is not supposed to be applied on the human body. We ask people to leave the sanitised place for at least an hour after sanitisation.”  

Meanwhile, Dinesh Thapa said they use chemical Virux. Informing there is no chemical that doesn’t t affect humans on direct contact, he explained, “We spray Virux while cleaning. This is also used in operation theatres in hospitals five to six hours before any surgery. We also suggest people to wait a few hours after sanitisation to enter their rooms. In case of open spaces, one can go there after 15-30 minutes of sanitisation.”  

Safety concerns  

Is it safe to invite cleaning companies to homes or offices amid the fear of COVID-19 transmission? Bastakoti said, “We brief people about the chemicals we use. Before rendering our service, we ensure we are not contaminated. We spray disinfectants on carpet, sofas, tiles, washroom et cetera without touching any objects there. We maintain a good distance from family members.” As per him, the cleaners are equipped with PPE, gloves, et cetera. Even their vehicles are sprayed with disinfectant before departure and after returning from the field.  

Dinesh Thapa added, “People fear we might take the virus to their homes. We assure them about our safety measures. We are also planning to make certificates of our staffs’ health conditions after their health checkup and inform our clients accordingly.”

A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 01, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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