All premises urged to implement strict SOP on ventilation improvement

File photo depicting exhaust fans.

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By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, Aug 26: Commercial buildings and premises, offices, education institutions, factories as well as houses of worship are urged to implement a tighter standard operating procedure (SOP) on ventilation improvement to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infections through airborne transmission.

According to SOPs on ventilation improvement in non-residential building released by the Local Government and Housing Ministry (MLGH), the SOP is aimed to achieve optimal air dilution, air exchange and air filtration in non-residential buildings in Sarawak to ensure that the risk of Covid-19 transmission is kept as low as possible.

For enclosed buildings such as eateries, shoplots, factories, sports facilities and hostels with windows and without air conditioning systems, they are required to perform air flushing by opening all windows and entrances to the building with ceiling fans, portable fans or to keep the exhaust fan running at all times.

They need to perform air flushing three times a day: once before the start of business, during mid-day and prior to closure of business hours, for a minimum of one hour each time a day.

For buildings or spaces with wide front and back entrance openings such as eateries, retails and factories, they need to operate ceiling fans at all times and direct portable fans towards windows or doors.

For kitchens within the building like eateries, cinema and hotels, exhaust fans should be operated continuously during operation hours and dampers should be fully opened.

In addition, all windows and openings in the kitchens facing the external side of the building must be opened at all times during the operation hours

As for the toilet and shower room within the building such as in eateries, shopping mall, spa, reflexology and wellness, sports facilities and swimming pool, exhaust fans should be operational at all times and dampers should be fully opened.

Operators of businesses are required to appoint a suitable person to be in-charge of the SOP implementation.

The person shall perform inspections and checks on the air conditioning and mechanical ventilation (ACMV) system to ensure it is functioning as per design every day before the start of the business hour.

Operators should also keep a maintenance record of the ACMV system and maintenance should be done in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendation or Industry Code of Practice on Indoor Air Quality 2010.

They are also encouraged to install portable air cleaners with high efficiency particulate air filters to ensure good air filtration.

This set of SOPs is in addition to existing key Covid-19 safety and precautionary measures implemented by the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to curb spread of the disease including physical distancing, wearing of face masks, maintaining high standard of hygiene and regular disinfection of frequently touched surfaces. — DayakDaily