Promoting safe surfaces to defeat covid-19
Handwashing with soap and the use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers while observing physical distancing and respiratory hygiene are powerful techniques to combat and control the spread of COVID_19, but do you know that to keep our hands clean we also have to keep the surfaces we touch clean?
As we continue combating the coronavirus in solidarity during the lockdown, it is important that every household continues to maintain proper hygiene. According to the World Health Organisation, the virus has shown that it can contaminate surfaces for more than 24 hours. This can expose members of your household to the virus, especially when living with people who have previously contracted the disease or who have been in contact with potential, or confirmed covid-19 patients – this can range from recent returnees from countries with high numbers of covid-19 cases, to health workers at the frontline caring for Covid19 patients.
There is, therefore, the need to constantly sanitize and disinfect surfaces in the household to reduce or eliminate the chances of contamination within the household.
When cleaning and disinfecting, pay close attention to surfaces that are frequently touched. Some of those surfaces include tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboard, toilets, faucets, sinks etc. Wear disposable and use gloves a mixture of water and soap or any form of detergent to clean each surfaces thoroughly and effectively.
Initiating a hand-washing culture at home, complemented with hand sanitizers will go a long way in fending off the virus. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, and frequently use wipes or spray containing at least 70% alcohol to sanitize electronic surfaces.
Constant disinfection of surfaces has been proven to be one of the major ways to significantly reduce the risk of contracting covid-19. In the case where you are living with a person suspected of having the coronavirus, the basic hygiene and #wash guidelines already mentioned can be adhered to in addition to the following:
- Keep separate bedroom and bathroom for a person who is sick (if possible)
- If shared bathroom: The person who is sick should clean and disinfect after each use. If this is not possible, the caregiver should wait as long as possible before cleaning and disinfecting. Remember to always wear protective gear such as a mask, gloves and a layer of clothing that can be disposed of.
- The person who is sick should eat (or be fed) in their room.
- Handle any used dishes, cups/glasses, or silverware with gloves. Wash them with soap and hot water or in a dishwasher.(do people have dishwashers in Nigeria? I want one now)
- Use warm water for laundry and Do not shake dirty laundry as this minimizes the possibility of dispersing virus through the air
- Dedicate a lined trash can for the person who is sick. Use gloves when removing garbage bags, and handling and disposing of trash. Wash hands afterwards.
- Clean hands after taking off gloves or handling used items.
These are measures that can be taken before the appropriate medical team evacuates the patient for proper medical care in order on keep you and those around you safe.