The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is getting higher with now 15 cases in Kenya. This is worrying and we all need to play our part to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Experts all over the world are advising people to wash their hands as frequently as possible or use alcohol-based sanitizers. But even as we do that, we need to do it the correct way. Don’t just wash your hands, wash them correctly.
This means that you must:
1. Wash your hands FREQUENTLY
Don’t just wash them after visiting the bathroom or when you want to eat. It’s sad that even with the situation as it is now, you still see some Kenyans avoiding the temporary hand-washing areas set up in the public areas.
According to WHO, you should wash your hands after sneezing or coughing, when caring for the sick, before, during and after you prepare food, before eating, after toilet use, when hands are visibly dirty, and, after handling animals or animal waste.
2. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds
Take your time to clean your hands thoroughly. World Health Organizations says that “Washing your hands properly takes about as long as singing "Happy Birthday" twice”.
It seems like such a long period given that we are always in a hurry to wash our hands and get back to business. But hey, if that’s what it takes to prevent coronavirus, just do it.
3. Cover all hand surfaces with soap
I bet we have all made the mistake of just rubbing soap on our palms only. Yet, even the spaces between our fingers and the back of our hands also hold dirt and germs. After wetting your hands with water, cover all the surfaces of your hands with enough soap and rub all the areas including between your fingers thoroughly before rinsing.
4. Wash your hands with running water
We get that not every Kenyan has tap water in their homes but you can still get creative and improvise instead of washing your hands in with still water in a basin. “Hands could become recontaminated if placed in a basin of standing water that has been contaminated through previous use, clean running water should be used” Centre for Disease Control (CDC).
5. Dry your hands after washing
Germs love wet environments. To keep your hands safe, dry them using a single-use towel and use the towel to turn off the tap to avoid recontaminating your hands.