A Cannonvale doctor is warning businesses that many hand sanitisers are ineffective against COVID-19.
A Cannonvale doctor is warning businesses that many hand sanitisers are ineffective against COVID-19.

Doctor warns against ineffective hand sanitisers

A WHITSUNDAYS doctor is worried that hand sanitisers used in businesses are ineffective, leading to a potentially dangerous situation.

Dr Peter Beaumont, who is a practising GP in Cannonvale, has concerns that hand sanitisers being used by many businesses in the region are not effective as they say “kills 99% of germs”.

However, COVID-19 is a virus, not a germ, and “germs and viruses are very different things”, he said.

“On the weekend, we went up to Bowen and came back via Proserpine and every one of the properties on the way had hand sanitiser that will not kill COVID-19,” said Dr Beaumont, who has sent a message to the deputy chief medical officer about his discovery.

“I picked up the products to have a look. If there’s no alcohol (in them), there’s no proven activity against any virus, let alone COVID-19.

“The Commonwealth website says there’s no evidence that hand sanitisers that don’t contain alcohol will kill viruses, especially COVID-19.

“People just don’t understand that they have used what they thought was good but it’s giving people a false sense of security.

“One comment I got was “we went out to buy it but there’s not much available – this was all that was available”.”

Dr Beaumont said it was potentially a very serious problem when COVID-19 comes back.

“There’s literally no chance that it won’t come back,” he said.

“Most experts believe there’s a bit of a lull now as countries are getting on top of it but it will either come back as a wave or in small clusters, and having appropriate health & safety will stop it from spreading and becoming a second wave.

“It’s a good time for businesses to be properly informed and search for the proper product.

“People think they are doing the right thing but they need to check they have the right stuff – there needs to be a lot more information about it.”

Whitsunday Regional Council’s disaster management coordinator Sandra Black said it was not council’s responsibility to monitor individual businesses or their COVID plans.

“Council’s responsibility is to provide information to our residents, visitors and our business community and provide the correct information on our website and social media,” she said.

“It is not our responsibility to make sure businesses are providing the correct hand sanitiser. Health is a state government issue and the direction from them is that any COVID complaints are referred to 13 QGOV.”