Creating safer spaces in schools with virus-proof paint

DURING these unprecedented times, the education industry is one sector facing tremendous changes.

These include the way classes and standard examinations are conducted due to the frequent closure of schools throughout the various phases of the movement control order.

Safety and health must remain the top priority to ensure the well-being of students.

When schools were given the green light to resume in stages in July, Health Ministry, Education Ministry and the National Security Council implemented a stringent list of SOP.

Some of the key ones included:

  • Reduced number of students per class (15 to 20) and to abide by physical distancing measures;
  • Teachers, staff and students had to undergo screening (body temperature scanning, contact tracing, followed by sanitisation) prior to entering the premises;
  • School assemblies and other large gatherings were prohibited; and
  • Availability of hand sanitiser and soap throughout the premises.

Despite the strict SOP, there were cases of Covid-19 in schools.

This could be due to the nature of children who tend to forget the rules while enjoying themselves and the activities they indulge in which involve some form of physical contact, thus creating a heightened risk of spreading viruses and bacteria.

While online learning and virtual classes are now the new norm, this pandemic has opened our eyes to take further preventive measures to protect our indoor environment in order to minimise the risk of viruses and bacteria, with the end goal of flattening the curve.

Aside from regular cleaning of all commonly shared surfaces (such as tables, chairs, and door-knobs) in schools, universities and kindergartens, education institutions can take an additional step by repainting walls in common and densely populated areas with the recently launched Nippon Paint VirusGuard.

Even with physical distancing, spaces such as canteens, school or lecture halls, meeting rooms and corridors still host a fair number of people.

Through the application of Nippon Paint VirusGuard, the risk of spreading and incubating viruses and bacteria throughout these enclosed spaces is minimised.

“It is more essential now than ever that school leaders, management and teachers take the necessary steps to create a safe and conducive environment for students to return to, ” said Nippon Paint Malaysia marketing assistant general manager Datin Wong Meng Lee.

“These measures include ensuring sufficient sanitising equipment is distributed and surfaces are frequently cleaned to not only protect the teachers, students and staff, but alleviate the concern among parents and caregivers once children are able to resume their studies in school, ” she said.

Equipped with anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, Nippon Paint VirusGuard is lab-tested to be 99% effective against the human coronavirus (strain 229E).

Utilising the Silver Ion Technology, Nippon Paint VirusGuard is also effective in mitigating the growth of viruses and bacteria such as the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), influenza A (H1N1), Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, when in contact with the paint film.

Lab-tested to be safe for adults, children and even animals, the Silver Ion Technology prevents the spread of viruses and bacteria through a three-step approach, depending on the structure of the various bacteria and viruses.

The Silver Ion Technology works by destroying or deactivating the respective membranes or cell wall, causing them to be non-functional and eventually leading to the death of the viruses and bacteria.

While schools remain closed nationwide, public and private childcare centres need to exercise heightened precautions when it comes to abiding by the SOP.

Parents have to comply with a schedule when sending their children to these centres to avoid congestion, and should bathe their children at home prior to arrival.

“Other precautionary measures such as regular sanitisation and cleaning processes are also in place to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone, ” said Registered Childcare Providers Malaysia Association president Anisa Ahmad.

Providing an added layer of protection through Nippon Paint VirusGuard, especially at frequently visited spaces, will bring greater peace of mind and a safer environment for everyone.

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