BANGKOK — A high-end shopping mall in downtown Bangkok was forced to admit on Monday night that its “sanitizing gate” was not certified by an international health body as advertised.
EmQuartier blamed “miscommunication” for claiming that its EM Auto Sanitizing Gate was “tested and certified” by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control as a disinfection device against the coronavirus. The statement came after the European agency dismissed the shopping mall’s claim as false.
“The EM District apologizes for the miscommunication,” the account wrote in both Thai and English tweets. “What we wanted to communicate was, this tunnel uses Benzalkaonium Chloride, which according to ECDC studies can kill the coronavirus.”
Photos of the device and its claim to prevent the coronavirus infection with “nanospray” drew much attention on social media until the ECDC wrote on Twitter that they had nothing to do with it.
“This is not officially endorsed by the @ECDC_EU, especially that things like these are not within our mandate,” the account wrote in response to tweets asking about the gate.
“We do not test nor certify disinfectants. Anyway they put it, it is misleading and false,” the ECDC tweeted.
On Monday night, the mall said that they had updated signage by the gate to reflect this. Previously, the sign said “Anti-Covid19 Nano spray against viruses tested & certified by ECDC.”
According to a Feb. 18 guide released by the ECDC about environmental cleaning in non-healthcare facilities exposed to the coronavirus, Benzalkonium chloride is one of the listed antimicrobial agents effective against mouse hepatitis virus and canine coronavirus.
“Although there is lack of specific evidence for their effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2, cleaning with water and household detergents and use of common disinfectant products should be sufficient for general precautionary cleaning,” the report states.
Many Twitter users also expressed disappointment at EmQuartier’s false claim over its sanitizing gate.
“Why did they lie to us?” @kainataya wrote in a reply to a thread.
“Is this another GT200?” @wora370 joked.