March 31, 2020

In several, migrant workers travelling to their home states, or their belongings, were sprayed with a disinfectant, apparently to sanitise them. The chemical in the spray was a sodium hypochlorite solution.


  • Sodium hypochlorite is commonly used as a bleaching agent, and also to sanitise swimming pools.

  • As a common bleaching agent, sodium hypochlorite is used for a variety of cleaning and disinfecting purposes. It releases chlorine, which is a disinfectant.

  • The concentration of the chemical in the solution varies according to the purpose it is meant for.
    • A normal household bleach (for disinfecting buildings and solid surfaces) usually is a 2-10% sodium hypochlorite solution.

    • At a much lower 0.25-0.5%, this chemical is used to treat skin wounds like cuts or scrapes.

    • An even weaker solution (0.05%) is sometimes used as a handwash.

  • The World Health Organization, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recommend homemade bleach solutions of about 2-10% concentration to clean hard surfaces to clear them of any presence of the novel coronavirus.