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Chandigarh (Raftaar News Bureau) :    Punjab Government has issued an exclusive and detailed advisory on cleaning and maintenance of Mobile Phones to ensure the safety of its citizens from the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. An official spokesperson of the state government said that as the Corona virus (COVID -19) is a systemic disease, which is transmitted in most instances through respiratory droplets, direct contact with cases and also through contaminated surfaces/objects. Though the virus survives on environmental surfaces for a varied period of time, it gets easily inactivated by chemical disinfectants. Correct and timely information and knowledge about the virus is the key to control the pandemic.

          Mobile phones along-with reception counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, keyboards, mouse, tablets and tables are one of the most highly touched surfaces, he said, adding that maintenance of hygiene- at workplaces/offices and avoid touching face/mouth have been recommended to control the pandemic. The mobile phones, which directly comes in contact with the face or mouth of the user repeatedly, during its usage, and can be a potential source to spread the infection even if hands are properly washed and clean, he said.

          Giving advice to always keep hands clean and sanitized with hand-wash and with 70% Isopropyl Alcohol based sanitizer after unavoidable mobile phone usage, the spokesperson said that avoid keeping the mobile phone on any surface. Use of headphones/headsets (Wired/Wireless) has also been recommended to avoid direct contact of the phone with the face/mouth. Use of mobile phones on Speaker mode, if feasible, may be practiced as an alternative, where headphones/headsets are not available. Do not share your mobile phone/headphones/headsets with anyone else.

          In office settings, use of intercom facility should be preferred over the use of mobile phones. However, the intercom facility be regularly disinfected, he added.  It has also been advised to carefully read the ‘User Support Guidelines” of one’s mobile as also the updated version of these guidelines on the official website of the relevant mobile company. Both Apple and Samsung have revised their “User Support Guidelines” saying that 70% isopropyl Alcohol or Clorox Disinfecting wipes can be used to gently wipe the exterior surface of phones in ‘Switched-Off’ mode.

          Explaining the step-wise procedure to clean the surfaces of Mobiles Phones, the spokesperson said that before starting to clean, turn off the phone and remove the case, accessories and cables, if any. Use a soft, lint-free, waterproof and dust- proof wipe, such as a camera lens wipe, to gently wipe the surface of the device. Lightly dampen a corner of a washcloth with a small amount isopropyl alcohol or Clorox Disinfectant and gently wipe the phone.

          In doing so, the use of bleach or entry of moisture through any of the openings must be avoided. Any harsh chemical may damage the oleo-phobic screen, leading to damage in the touch screen sensitivity of the phone. Do not use the compressor and do not use or spray bleach or any cleaning solutions directly on Phone.

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