RIO – A small yellow tunnel with a presence sensor that activates sprinklers inside and releases a disinfectant substance named Atomic 70. Apparently mirabolante, the new bet of the City Hall against the coronavirus is considered valid by specialists heard by the state. However, it is far from replacing the basic sanitary measures indicated in the prevention of the disease: hand hygiene, wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

“Much more important than that is to distribute masks and alcohol gel in public transport. It is a marketing action to make people aware that there is a public health problem, which is valid, but I do not know if it will be effective”, he tells the state Edmilson Migowski, professor of Infectology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).

Atomic 70 is produced by Dioxide Indústria Química, from Indaiatuba, in the interior of São Paulo, and validated by Anvisa. According to the company, it combats not only covid-19, being effective against other types of viruses such as influenza, rubella and zika virus. The manufacturer describes the product as a high-level disinfectant with antimicrobial action, whose active ingredient is chlorine dioxide (CLO2), intended mainly for the health area.

Antônio Flores, an infectious disease specialist at the infectious disease outpatient clinic of the Porto Alegre Department of Health, says the product is safe and used even in water decontamination. “The question is whether this intervention is effective enough to be worth the cost, since we have other (effective) measures such as hand hygiene and the use of masks. But it is yet another attempt by the government to try to reduce the contagion by the coronavirus”, says the expert.

The City of Rio said that initially the manufacturer of the product provided the booth for testing. The current phase is of final negotiations with the supplier, he clarified. “The decree of the State of calamity dispenses with bidding in view of the need to urgently combat the pandemic, but all negotiations are being carried out with care, cost-benefit, zeal to the public purse and the suitability determined by law,” he said in his statement. Press office.

O state asked if there was any study that demonstrated the best cost-benefit ratio compared to others, such as the distribution of masks and alcohol gel. The municipal administration informed that the priority is to protect the citizen in the fight against the pandemic, combining the best cost and benefit and total transparency. The City of Rio says it will also distribute protective masks to the population.

According to the Rio de Janeiro City Hall, other countries, such as China and Turkey, already use the booth. The adoption of the mechanism is seen as another way to fight the disease, added to other efforts such as the disinfection of BRT stations, in partnership with the Armed Forces, and community areas carried out by Comlurb.

The first two cabins were installed last Saturday, 19, in the field hospital built in Riocentro, on the west side of the city. The forecast is to install another five in Central do Brasil and in subway, ferry and BRT stations, starting this week. The City Hall rules that the purpose of using the booths is to help make social isolation more flexible.

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