Should sanitation tents be used for prevention of COVID-19 transmission?

  • Carol Stephanie C. Tan-Lim
  • Jacqueline Michelle D. Melendres
Keywords: covid-19, philippines



There is currently no evidence to support the use of sanitation tents in the prevention of COVID-19 transmission.

• Sanitation tents or disinfection tents have been installed in various areas of the Philippines as a measure to decontaminate individuals and prevent COVID-19 transmission.
• The commonly used disinfectant in these tents is diluted household bleach. Others propose to use alcohol or diluted povidone iodine to decontaminate individuals in the tent.
• Bleach is an irritant to mucous membranes and loses its antimicrobial effect over time or when exposed to heat and sunlight.
• Alcohol is flammable and also causes irritation to mucous membranes.
• Povidone iodine may cause skin irritation, chemical pneumonitis when inhaled, and acute kidney injury when systemically absorbed.
• There are no completed or ongoing studies on the use of sanitation tents for the prevention of COVID-19 transmission.
• To date, there are no guidelines that recommend the use of sanitation tents for prevention of COVID-19 transmission.
• The World Health Organization explicitly recommends against spraying alcohol or chlorine all over a person's body due to adverse health effects and the lack of inhibitory activity against viruses that have already entered the body.
• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that most environmental protection agency-registered household disinfectants are effective against COVID-19. However, these products are approved for use only on surfaces and not on humans.
• The Department of Health guidelines recommend the avoidance of spraying or misting for COVID-19 due to lack of evidence of its efficacy.