| April 27, 2020

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Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) practices are key to avoiding the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19. WASH practices can be applied at home, in the workplace, and in public. Broadcasters can use in their own lives and share them with listeners. Here is some important information on WASH practices from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Hand washing: Hand washing is extremely important for everyone. Wash your hands thoroughly for 40 to 60 seconds at a time, using warm water and soap. WHO recommends regular, frequent hand washing. Common times to wash your hands include before preparing food, before and after eating, after using the toilet or changing a child’s diaper, after blowing your nose or coughing, and after touching surfaces such as tables or door handles.

Hygiene: When coughing or sneezing, cover your nose and mouth completely with your elbow. Use disposable tissues to blow your nose and dispose of the tissue immediately afterwards in a sealed bin or bag. When disposing of this waste, limit contact with it.

Avoid touching your face, nose, and mouth.

Cleaning in the home or workplace: COVID-19 is spread through droplets from the nose or mouth of an infected person. These droplets can land on surfaces and when touched, create a risk for infection. This is why it is important to regularly wash and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in your home or workplace, including door handles, tables, chairs, and bathroom surfaces. This is especially important when someone has symptoms of COVID-19 or has come into contact with someone who does.

To clean frequently touched surfaces, WHO recommends using household soap or detergent. After cleaning the surface, dry it, then disinfect it using one part of household bleach to nine parts water. While cleaning and disinfecting, wear protective equipment such as gloves and a mask. Wash your hands once the surfaces have been cleaned and disinfected.

Continue to wash laundry regularly using soap and warm water.

For more information on WHO’s recommended hand washing procedures, visit: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/patient-safety/how-to-handwash-poster.pdf?sfvrsn=7004a09d_2