The Ministry of Transport Malaysia and Gentle Supreme, a distributor of household products, have partnered to roll out the ‘Keep Malaysia Safe & Protected’ campaign.
The campaign aims to help keep Malaysians utilizing public transport, specifically Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), safe by disinfecting high-touch surfaces at 24 of these hubs. The campaign was launched in conjunction with a new surface disinfectant spray known as WIZACT 24™. The disinfectant is touted to kill 99.9 percent of viruses and bacteria for up to 24 hours. The disinfecting protocol is not meant to override existing cleanliness protocols but will serve as a complementary step on top of existing practices.
Speaking at the virtual launch of the campaign, Datuk Dr Christopher Lee, infectious disease specialist and president, Malaysian AIDS Council, said: “Frequently touched surfaces in public areas are key sources of transmission of various pathogens such as Escherichia coli, influenza, and even SARS-CoV-2.”
Lee added: “When an infected person coughs, sneezes or touches these surfaces, the respiratory droplets harbouring these pathogens are left behind and transmitted to the next person who comes into contact with the contaminated surface. That is why health bodies like the WHO and our local Ministry of Health recommend and stress the importance of frequent handwashing and avoiding touching of your face, mouth and eyes.”
As it stands, 20 percent of the local population utilizes public transportation. [Available at https://www.intelligenttransport.com/transport-news/90793/new-policy-looks-to-double-public-transport-usage-in-malaysia-by-2030/#:~:text=Currently%2C%20just%2020%20per%20cent,government%20has%20touted%20this%20ambition Accessed on 28 December] During their commute, users are in contact with high-touch surfaces such as hand railings, passenger seats on buses and trains, and ticket turnstiles, all of which can harbour bacteria and viruses such as SARS-CoV-2.
The novel surface disinfectant can help to reduce the risk of disease spread. According to Kam Ai Nee, head of marketing, Gentle Supreme, the disinfectant uses a technology powered by Actiguard™, a proprietary disinfectant system with Actizone™. Actizone contains quaternary ammonium compounds that has passed the stringent disinfectant standards according to US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Residual Self-Sanitization 24 and UK British Standards Institution (BSI) Publicly Available Specification 2424 disinfectant protocols.
The US EPA protocol is one for determination of residual self-sanitizing activity of dried chemical residues on hard, nonporous surfaces while the UK BSI protocol is a quantitative surface test for the evaluation of residual antimicrobial efficacy of liquid chemical disinfectants on hard nonporous surfaces. [Available at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-09/documents/cloroxpcol_final.pdf Accessed on 29 December, Available at https://www.bsigroup.com/globalassets/localfiles/en-gb/pas/case-studies/bsi_pas_byotrol_pas2424_cs.pdf Accessed on 29 December]
“As Malaysians ourselves, we feel a sense of responsibility to come together and do our part in stopping the spread of infectious diseases, more so during this challenging time we are facing. Through the ‘Keep Malaysia Safe & Protected’ campaign, we aim to educate the Malaysian public on how infectious diseases are transmitted and what we can do to keep ourselves and our families safe,” said Kam.
She added: “Through the ‘Keep Malaysia Safe & Protected’ campaign as well as the introduction of new product innovations, we aspire to equip Malaysians with the right tools to help fight communicable diseases together.”