Coronavirus fears prompt spike in South Korea disinfection requests

Disinfectants can kill coronavirus germs, experts say

The coronavirus outbreak has led to a run on disinfection services in South Korea, the country with the most confirmed cases of the virus after China.

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The industry has seen a 300 percent increase in requests for facility disinfection services since the outbreak began, The Korea Herald reported. That spike followed a joint statement by the Korea Medical Association and Korea Pest Control Association claiming fumigation can kill 99.9 percent of the coronavirus within 24 hours.

Workers in protective suits spray disinfectant as a precaution against the COVID-19 at an indoor gymnasium in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

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Homeowners have also started seeking out fumigation services, Lim Tae-ho of cleaning agency Adam Clean told the Herald.

“There was not a single request for fumigation from a household before,” Lim told the Herald. “But now, we take on at least one or two cases a day, and there are many such inquiries being made from individual homes.”

The sudden demand has led to higher prices for equipment and disinfectant, according to the report.

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Workers wearing protective suits spray disinfectant as a precaution against the coronavirus at a market in Bupyeong, South Korea, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. (Lee Jong-chul/Newsis via AP)

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There were 1,261 confirmed cases of coronavirus in South Korea as of Wednesday, according to the World Health Organization. Officials estimated that nearly half those patients had been exposed within the country. Twelve people have died from coronavirus in South Korea.

Five kinds of disinfectants can be used to kill coronavirus, the Herald reported: sodium hypochlorite, alcohol (70 percent), phenolic compounds, quaternary ammonium compound and peroxide compound.

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