RECOMMENDATIONS FOR VISITING WATER COMPLEXES DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the usual way of life of almost every one of us, all areas have shifted to work with limited functioning and activities in quarantine. SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, is mostly transmitted from person to person by close contact through small droplets (released during coughing, sneezing and talking) contaminated with the virus, or virus particles that linger in the air for several minutes to several hours, less often infection occurs through contaminated surfaces and objects. The objective was to analyze the possibility of safe operation of water complexes (water parks, swimming pools, etc.) during a pandemic COVID-19 in our country.
Materials and methods. Since November 2019 and so far, we have been taking water samples from one private pool and from the pool of a sports complex in one University in Kyiv, in addition, because of cooperation with the Brovary Regional Department of Laboratory Research of the State Institution «Kyiv Regional Laboratory Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine» we have known the results of water control in one under roof water park in Brovary, which is located in Kyiv region. We explored the quality of water by sanitary chemical indices (odor, color, turbidity, pH, water hardness, concentration of ammonia and ammonium ions, chlorides, sulfates, free chlorine, etc.) and microbiological indicators (total microbial count (TMC) and coli bacterial index (index of bacteria of the group of E. coli (CBI)).
Results of the research. In our research, we analyzed the guidelines on the possibility and conditions of the functioning of water complexes during quarantine restrictions of various countries. We found that the free chlorine level in water samples complies to those recommendation, which WHO is provided in the context of the coronavirus pandemic in private and public water complexes. Currently, there are no studies that suggest the possibility of survival of SARS-CoV-2 virus in swimming pool water or other water entertainment complexes, although experimental data obtained previously with coronaviruses (on cell cultures) other than SARS CoV-2, indicate that they are usually sensitive to strong oxidants, such as chlorine. Therefore, today, we can assume that purified water in swimming pools and other water complexes is not an environment where the SARS-CoV-2 virus can survive. The WHO states that a residual free chlorine concentration ≥ 0.5 mg / L in pool water at pH < 8,0 is sufficient to kill coronaviruses. The virus that causes COVID-19 has been found in the fecal matter of infected people, not just those with symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders. It's generally believed that the excretion of the virus may persist for several days. However, it should be noted that there are no cases of fecal-oral transmission of SARS-CoV-2 now. Therefore, to date, the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission by fecal-oral route is assessed as low.
Conclusions. According to the data from lead countries regarding recommendations for visiting water complexes during the COVID-19 pandemic and because of the lack of our own research in our country, we can talk about the possibility of their implementation in Ukraine. We believe that the constant closure of swimming pools and water complexes, and, consequently, constant breaks in the training of not only professional athletes, but also amateurs, run counter to the recommendations regarding the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. It`s worth to remember that prevention is always better than treatment, and training sports is one of the key points in ensuring the effective work of the body and the immune system in particular, which is especially important during a pandemic.
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