Plett’s ambitious fog-off
Plettenberg Bay is set to become the first South African town to decontaminate its high-risk public spaces using a decontamination “fog”. Here a worker in a protective suit uses a large fogger to disinfect outdoor areas in a village in Qingdao, Shandong province in China recently.
Come Friday, Plettenberg Bay will become the first town in South Africa to undergo large-scale decontamination of its streets and public spaces in an effort to protect the area against the spread of the coronavirus.
Newly appointed Plett Tourism chief executive Marius Venter said he believes in a proactive approach and therefore spearheaded the decontamination efforts, for which he has had the backing of various organisations including Bitou Municipality.
The process includes getting a specialised team in who will use a product, which was developed in America, to initially deal with biological threats, to set off “foggers” and use a spray to decontaminate public and high-traffic areas.
According to science reviews, the product is environmentally friendly. It is low in toxicity and corrosive materials, benign to the environment and safe for use in food facilities. Venter said the same product has been used around the globe, including China where Covid-19 originated.
At the core of its ingredients are hydrogen peroxide, soap, inorganic salts like baking soda, hydrogen peroxide boost and water, and while science reviews suggest the product is environmentally friendly, several local environmentalists have questioned the process followed before implementing the measure.
Plett local Julie Carlisle, who has about three decades of experience in various environmental fields, believes there should have been input from experts before going ahead with the fogging. She said these experts should have included doctors, about the impact on residents, and scientists about the impact on the environment.
The exercise would cost about R50 000, an amount Venter said has been covered by the initiative's partners.
He said the fogging would be conducted during the early hours of Friday morning and will focus on the town’s Main Street, beachfront, high-traffic areas like local taxi ranks and other areas that pose risks.
Bitou municipal spokesperson Andile Namntu confirmed the plans.
He further announced that Medlife paramedic services have also partnered with Bitou and have made available an ambulance, geared to deal with Covid-19 cases, and a dedicated team to go out to those who need assistance and deal with issues remotely.
“It is a challenging time, but history has taught me that we stand together when crisis strikes and I have no doubt that this will be one of those moments,” Venter said.
A member of the Health and Hygiene team set to undertake the task of disinfecting Plettenberg Bay’s high-risk areas following the novel coronavirus outbreak.