Experts slam plans to buy mist cannons for Bengaluru

Experts slam plans to buy mist cannons for Bengaluru

New Mist Cannon Machine is launched in front of Vidhana Soudha, it help to control Corona virus, the truck is filled with disinfectant mixed water and this disinfectant is sprayed in the air, it protected by corona virus, by BBMP in Bengaluru on Monday, 29 June 2020. DH Photo by S K Dinesh

Doctors and epidemiologists have slammed the BBMP’s proposal to spend Rs 14 crore on mist cannon machines to spray disinfectants in public places.

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Pointing out that the World Health Organisation (WHO) does not recommend such large scale spraying or fumigation of public places, they say the money could be better spent in getting oximeters to measure blood oxygen level, oxygen concentrators, and setting up high-flow oxygen.

“The virus doesn’t wait in the environment to infect people. It mostly spreads from person to person,” points out Dr Giridhar Babu, adding that the money spent on buying mist cannons is wasteful.

“The money is being diverted from buying oximeters, oxygen concentrators, and high flow oxygen to increase the oxygen pool and ICU beds. How come procuring 27 mist cannon machines for Rs 14 crore (at Rs 53 lakh a piece) will help control the ongoing pandemic?”

Also Read: Coronavirus India update: State-wise total number of confirmed cases

BBMP’s stand 

A senior BBMP official defended the proposal, saying the cannon machines will also control fine particulate matters like PM 2.5, PM 10, NOx (nitrogen oxide) and SOx (sulphur oxide).

“This will help people with asthma and respiratory problems,” he said.

Water could be added to the chemicals at 1:100 ratio and sprayed in hospitals, educational institutions, markets, commercial areas, and roads, he added. “This is done in other cities like Chennai and Hyderabad,” the official added.

Mayor Goutham Kumar told DH that the civic body has forwarded the proposal to the government, which is free to decide on the purchase. “It is the rainy season now and we want the air to be pollution-free,” the mayor said.

“People shouldn’t get other (types of) flu and fever. Based on the company’s presentation, we found their sanitisation capabilities to be good.

"The public is also asking for sanitisation. We must strew chlorine powder on the roads used by the patients. Spraying chlorine can control other viruses,” Kumar further added.