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Health, hygiene and COVID-19

There has never been a time in modern history when hygiene has been of utmost importance for every person on the planet as it is today. We are now more than ever compelled to practice the best hygiene to not only keep ourselves safe but others as well. 

Follow these personal and household hygiene practices to keep you and your family safe:

  1. Hand hygiene practices

This one of the most important hygiene practices in avoiding the spread of COVID-19. Since the virus can be contracted when one touches their mouth, eyes or nose with contaminated hands, it’s vital to keep hands clean at all times. Washing hands with soap and water remain the number one method to clean visibly dirty hands. When hands are not visibly dirty though, an alcohol-based hand rub or sanitizer is the next best option. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that you spend at least 40-60 seconds washing hands and 20-30 seconds rubbing hands with alcohol-based hand rub or sanitizer.

Regular handwashing is advised before preparing food, after using the toilet or changing a child’s diaper, before and after eating and after touching animals.

  1. Keeping surfaces clean

Right now, there is no inconclusive evidence of how long COVID-19 survives outside of a human host. But what is clear is that the virus can be killed with the right disinfectants. It is therefore important to note that proper cleaning of surfaces that may be contaminated is very important. Focus on “high touch areas” like doorknobs, toilet flushers, table counters, etc.

The New England Journal of Medicine recently published a study that suggests the Coronavirus can survive for up to three days on some surfaces, especially hard plastics and steel. The virus is then picked up when people touch these surfaces. To stay safe, clean all surfaces in your home and car with soap or detergent or a solution of bleach and water.

  1. Disinfect after a trip outside your home

When you return home after essential trips to the grocery store, doctor or petrol station, or from your office if you’re an essential worker, make sure to remove the clothes you wore outside as soon as you get home, put them in the washer and take a shower or bath. 

While many have been debating on the necessity or appropriateness of washing fruit and vegetables before consumption, experts warn against it. Donald Schaffner, a microbiologist, and expert on food safety from Rutgers University told sciencealert.com that washing fresh produce with soap is dangerous. Recommendations from leading scientists still list washing fresh produce with cold running water as the best route to take. 

Additional information sourced from: