The Guidance Notes on Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality to reduce the risks of airborne transmission of the COVID-19 virus at various premises1
(severally a “Guidance Note
” and collectively “Guidance Notes
”) were recently announced by the Ministry of Human Resources on 13 July 2021.2
The Guidance Notes were developed by a technical committee that included indoor air quality specialists and representatives from various organisations such as the Department of Occupational Safety and Health, the Ministry of Health and the Public Works Department.
These Guidance Notes, which are based on the Department of Occupational Safety and Health’s code of practice on Indoor Air Quality 20103
, are best practices intended to guide the public on improving ventilation and indoor air quality in premises with: (a) a mechanical ventilating and air conditioning (“MVAC
”) system; (b) an air conditioning system without fresh air supply; and (c) natural ventilation. The Guidance Notes should be adopted and implemented with inter alia
the latest Standard Operating Procedures released by the Majlis Keselamatan Negara
Generally, the COVID-19 virus spreads via close contact between two individuals (with distance less than one metre) when respiratory droplets or aerosols containing the virus are inhaled or come into direct contact with the eyes, nose or mouth of the other person. However, the Guidance Notes also recognise the recent scientific opinions that the COVID-19 virus may spread through airborne transmission, especially in poorly ventilated or crowded indoor settings, as the droplets or aerosols containing the virus may remain suspended in the air or travel further than one metre. As such, the risk of airborne transmission of the COVID-19 virus may be reduced by improving the ventilation and indoor air quality in residential settings, non-residential settings, public areas, and healthcare facilities.
Guidance Note for Residential Settings
A building is a residential building when more than 50% of the floor area is used for dwelling purposes, and is categorised into landed properties, and non-landed properties such as low/high rise apartments and condominiums.
The Guidance Note for residential settings is set out below: