Covid-19: Refer to ventilation system guides to prevent infection spread, says Health DG


KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): Good ventilation systems and high air quality in all types of buildings such as workplaces, business premises, education institution, places of worship and residences are an important strategy to contain the spread of Covid-19, says Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

The Health Director General said that all parties should refer to and adopt the ventilation system guides suggested by the Health Ministry, Human Resource Ministry and the World Health Organization.

He added that there are generally three types of ventilation systems namely natural ventilation, air cooling system without mechanical ventilation and air cooling system with mechanical ventilation (MVAC).

Dr Noor Hisham said that for natural ventilation, the risk of Covid-19 spreading and other airborne diseases is low but there are methods to improve ventilation and movement of air by opening windows and using fan to improve ceiling ventilation.

"For air cooling systems without mechanical ventilation, apart from opening windows and using fans, it is recommended to install exhaust fans as well as ensuring small window openings to keep the temperature at between 23 to 26 degrees Celsius,” he said in a statement on Wednesday (Sept 22)

He added that in the case of MVAC, the system's controls and components should be maintained and function according to its design, including air filter seals which should be monitored and replaced according to the recommended frequency.

Dr Noor Hisham also said that the air quality in MVAC systems can be improved through the air damper opening or deactivating Demand Control Ventilation and encouraging the system to operate with maximum outdoor air intake for two hours before and after occupying the place.

"Apart from that, upgrade the air filter in the existing air intake unit to at least MERV-14 as well as using air purifiers with HEPA technology," said Dr Noor Hisham.

He then said that for the government's Indoor Air Ventilation and Quality Guidance Manual for Residential/ Non-Residential/ Public Area Settings During the Covid-19 Pandemic, one can refer to https://www. dosh.gov.my/index.php/ms/.

Dr Noor Hisham also said that the WHO Roadmap to Improve And Ensure Good Indoor Ventilation in The Context of Covid-19, March 2021 is at https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240021280. -Bernama

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