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Clean hands protect against Covid-19

You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading Covid-19 by regularly and thoroughly cleaning your hands. People can become infected by touching their eyes, nose or mouth after touching objects or surfaces with droplets from an infected person. Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand sanitiser kills viruses that may be on your hands.

World Health Organization advises people to protect themselves from Covid-19 by cleaning hands frequently. It says we must wash our hands with soap and water and dry them thoroughly. In addition, we must use alcohol-based sanitiser if soap and water are unavailable immediately.

Droplets are relatively heavy, do not travel far and quickly fall to the ground. This is why you must stay at least one metre away from others.

How does Covid-19 spread?

People can catch Covid-19 from others who have the virus. The disease spreads primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth. The droplets are expelled when a person with Covid-19 coughs, sneezes, or speaks.

The UN health agency says these droplets are relatively heavy, do not travel far and quickly fall to the ground. People can catch Covid-19 if they breathe in these droplets from a person infected with the virus.  This is why it is important to stay at least one metre away from others.

These droplets can land on objects and surfaces around the person such as tables, doorknobs and handrails.  People can become infected by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.  This is why it is important to wash your hands regularly with soap and water or clean with alcohol-based sanitiser.

How do I wash my hands properly?

Washing your hands properly takes 20 seconds. Use the images below. All drawings are based on WHO advice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1) Wet hands with water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) Apply enough soap to cover all hand surfaces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) Rub hands palm to palm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4) Right palm over the left hand’s back with interlaced fingers and vice versa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5) Palm to palm with fingers interlaced.

 

 

 

6) Backs of fingers to opposing palms with fingers interlocked.

 

 

 

 

 

7) Rotational rubbing of left thumb clasped in right palm and vice versa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8) Rotational rubbing, backwards and forwards with clasped fingers of right hand in left palm and vice versa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9) Rinse hands with water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10) Dry thoroughly with a tissue.

 

 

 

 

11) Use tissue to turn off tap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12) Your hands are safe.

 

How do I use hand sanitiser?

WHO’s advice is you use a coin-sized amount of sanitiser on your hands. It says there is no need to use a large amount of sanitiser. Alcohol-based hand sanitisers are recommended to protect against Covid-19.

Rub hands until dry. The technique for hand rubbing is shown below. All drawings are based on WHO advice.

 

1) Apply sanitiser in a cupped hand

 

 

 

 

2) Rub hands palm to palm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) Right palm over left hand’s back with interlaced fingers and vice versa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4) Palm to palm with fingers interlaced.

 

 

 

 

5) Backs of fingers to opposing palms with fingers interlocked.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6) Rotational rubbing of left thumb clasped in right palm and vice versa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7) Rotational rubbing, backwards and forwards with clasped fingers of right hand in left palm and vice versa.

 

 

 

8) Once dry, your hands are safe.

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