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HR Ministry Releases Guide on Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality

Mohamad Danial bin Ab. Khalil
by Mohamad Danial bin Ab. Khalil
Jul 14, 2021 at 11:08 AM

In an effort to reduce the airborne transmission of Covid-19, the Human Resources Ministry has released a guide to improving ventilation and indoor air quality for the public.

The Technical Committee, headed by the Occupational Safety and Health Department (DOSH) Chemical Management Division Director, developed the guide.

According to the ministry, the guide's purpose is to inform the public on various methods to improve ventilation and indoor air quality in workplaces, health facilities, housing and public places to decrease the risk of Covid-19 transmission via air. 

In a statement yesterday, the ministry said the public should refer to the guide along with the National Security Council's (NSC) standard operating procedures (SOP) to reduce the spread of Covid-19. 

The guide is developed based on DOSH's Indoor Air Quality Industry Code of Practice 2010 and an equivalent document released by authorities in other nations and international organisations, including the World Health Organisation. 

ventilation air quality public dosh
Source: DOSH/Twitter

More about the guide

Titled "Guidance Note on Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) For Public Area Setting During Covid-19 Pandemic", the guide has four settings for premises with these types of ventilation:

  1. Premises with mechanical ventilation and Motor Vehicle Air Conditioning System (MVAC),

  2. Premises with air conditioning without fresh air and natural ventilation. 

 

Here are some of the advice suggested by the guide:

  • Increase outside-air ventilation,

  • Increase air filtration,

  • Adjust or reconfigure air flows,

  • Reduce crowd or occupancy, and

  • Limit the use of small spaces that are shared. 

 

Measures for air-conditioned premises with MVAC

  • Ensure the MVAC system is fully functioning. 

  • Maximise ventilation for indoor air dilution. 

  • Maximise outdoor air intake and supply by setting. 

  • Minimise indoor air recirculation; use high-efficiency filters in AHUs to treat recirculated air. 

 

Measures for naturally ventilated premises

  • Improve ventilation and consider adding window or wall mounted exhaust fans. 

  • Improve air supply and increase ventilation rate. 

 

Measures for enclosed air-conditioned without mechanical ventilation provision

  • Increase ventilation and air exchange rate. 

  • Install window-mounted exhaust fans. 

  • Use portable air cleaner in enclosed space. 

  • Make sure there is no leakage of air into any occupied space. 

 

The guide also includes more detailed suggestions, such as:

  • Use an air filter with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) 13 or 14 or a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter, and

  • Increase air exchanges by using fans.

  • Physical parameters defined in the ICOP IAQ 2010 must ensure that the acceptable temperature range is between 23 to 26 degrees Celsius and has a related humidity of 40% to 70%.

 

The NSC has approved the guide and the infographic on July 8.

The ministry hoped that all parties would use the guide to curb and break the chain of infection and increase compliance towards the MCO SOPs for the sake of the economy, social and welfare of the workers. 

 

Guide links

GUIDANCE NOTE ON VENTILATION AND INDOOR AIR QUALITY (IAQ) FOR PUBLIC AREA DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC 

INFOGRAPHIC GUIDANCE NOTE ON IMPROVING VENTILATION AND INDOOR AIR QUALITY (IAQ) FOR PUBLIC AREA 

 

Source: Malay MailDOSH

 

 

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