Best to avoid swimming pools for now, says WHO

The World Health Organization says it is advisable to stay away from crowded areas, including swimming pools with lots of people. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The World Health Organization (WHO) has advised the public to avoid swimming pools to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

WHO’s head of mission and representative to Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore, Dr Jacqueline Lo, acknowledged that swimming in a well-maintained, chlorinated pool is generally considered safe.

“But it is advisable to stay away from all crowded areas, including crowded swimming pools,” she told FMT.

Swimming pools in Malaysia have remained closed though the government has engaged with the relevant stakeholders to draft a standard operating procedure (SOP) for pool activities.

The SOP is to be presented to the National Security Council and health ministry for a decision.

Lo noted that Covid-19 spreads primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are expelled when a person carrying the virus coughs, sneezes or speaks.

“People can become infected when they are in close proximity to others or touching objects or surfaces around a pool that other people have touched, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth,” she said.

“This is why it is important to avoid this activity as part of a comprehensive strategy to prevent the spread of Covid-19.”

She added that people should follow the guidance of authorities in regard to restrictions on the use of swimming pools.

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