A video showing schoolgirls in Kenya queuing to be sprayed as part of the measures to curb coronavirus spread has sparked uproar among Kenyans online. On Monday, the schoolgirls reported to school dressed in uniform only to get fumigated by a man who had mounted a knapsack sprayer on his back. Knapsack sprayers are commonly used for disease and pest control.
A Video Goes Viral of Schoolgirls being Disinfected
Kenya’s Ministry of Education ordered the reopening of schools after a seven-month closure period. The Covid-19 pandemic occasioned the closure of all schools. Learning institutions reopened on Monday, but only final year students were to report back to school. The Kenyan Ministry of Education provided schools with guidelines to arrange for sanitization and handwashing facilities. Additionally, the guidelines provided would ensure social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
When schools resumed on Monday, it seemed an unidentified school disregarded all the Ministry of Education guidelines. The unknown school took a shocking step despite the government providing it with necessary procedures when learning resumed. On reopening, the girls’ school had a man wear protective clothes and spray a substance on the girls` exposed legs, hands, and uniforms. A 30- second clip uploaded on Twitter by a local newspaper went viral. The clip showed the girls being sprayed with chemicals intended to disinfect them.
Numerous Kenyans were angered by the decision of the school to spray students. It was shocking that the school administration sat down and decided that spraying children like that was okay. Furthermore, the institution went ahead despite the Ministry of Health banning spraying disinfectants or chemicals on people through booths or tunnels. It was hard to believe that parents to the students at the school had to pay for their children to be sprayed like cows.
Health Effects of Spraying Human Beings
Kenya’s Director-General to the Ministry of Health said in a report that such spraying poses health risks and does not eliminate Covid-19. Additionally, the Director-General Dr. Amoth added that the chemicals utilized in disinfecting are not designed for use on human bodies. Furthermore, he said the chemicals could be dangerous for those with respiratory allergies and other complications.
Moreover, the World Health Organization does not endorse the spraying of individuals. The organization disclosed that spraying of individuals could be psychologically and physically harmful. Additionally, spraying does not reduce an infected person’s ability to spread the virus through droplets or contact. The organization said in a document that spraying chlorine or other toxic chemicals on people could affect different parts of the body.
The chemicals cause irritation to the nose, eyes, respiratory tract, and the mouth. Furthermore, the chemicals used in disinfecting someone can cause cancer, irritate the digestive system, and generate air pollution. The World Health Organization advised that it should be done with a cloth if it is necessary to apply a disinfectant. Afterward the fabric should be soaked in a disinfectant and rubbed on the surface, needing disinfecting.
Several netizens reacted to the video of the girls being disinfected. Some individuals called out the girls’ school for exposing their students to inhumane treatment in the name of their disinfection.