The coronavirus pandemic is calling for many different hygiene measures around the world. While people are being urged to keep their hands clean, they are also being asked to maintain personal hygiene by keeping their personal belongings dirt-free. It is believed that while the COVID-19 virus spreads via respiratory droplets, it can also stay viable on unclean surfaces for hours. Which is why it is important to clean visibly-unclean surfaces and disinfect them later.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are some recommendations on the cleaning and disinfection of households where persons under investigation (PUI) or those with confirmed COVID-19 are staying in self-isolation.
What is the difference between cleaning and disinfecting?
While cleaning refers to the surface removal of germs, dirt and other impurities, disinfecting refers to using of chemicals to kill them. It is mostly done after cleaning, and it can substantially reduce the risk of the infection spreading.
What are the surfaces that need to be cleaned?
There should be routine cleaning of surfaces that are frequently touched. These include: tables, chairs, doorknobs, light switches, desks, faucets, sinks, among others. When using the product, read up the instructions and take precautions such as wearing of gloves.
What should be kept in mind when there is a sick person at home?
Try and reduce the frequency of cleaning of the bedroom and bathroom of the sick person, so as to minimise contact. Make sure that the ill person stays in their room as much as possible, and does not interact with other healthy members of the house. In case a separate living space is not available to them, the carer must try to clean and disinfect the shared space, like a bathroom, after them.
How to clean and disinfect?
- First things first, wear disposable gloves.
- Clean surfaces using soap or detergent and water before disinfection.
- When disinfecting, use alcohol solutions with at least 70 per cent alcohol.
- For softer surfaces like carpets and rugs, first remove any visible foreign particle, and then use appropriate cleaners.
- Before doing the laundry, wear disposable gloves, especially when you are cleaning up after a sick person.
- If you are not using gloves, keep your hands away from your face, and make sure to wash them thoroughly with soap and water after you are done.
As is being said again and again, personal hygiene is of utmost importance. You must clean your hands often, with soap and water, or with an alcohol-based hand rub. Whether you are outside, or at home, there are some basic dos and don’ts that you must follow, so as to curb the spread of the virus.
- Clean your hands after you blow your nose, cough and/or sneeze.
- Clean them after you use the restroom, especially if it is a public restroom.
- Clean your hands before eating and preparing food.
- Clean them after you play with pets.
- Before and after you provide care for another person, like a child or an old person.
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