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Table of Contents
SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 41-42

Exploring the role of hand hygiene in the effective containment of coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic


1 Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Chengalpet, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Chengalpet, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission22-Jul-2020
Date of Decision27-Jul-2020
Date of Acceptance04-Aug-2020
Date of Web Publication14-Apr-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpaet District - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/MTSM.MTSM_29_20

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  Abstract 


The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has made all the national leaders and the international organizations realize that the health sector progress in containment of infectious disease is still not enough. Being an infectious disease, which is highly contagious and is transmitted through close contact or droplets, the importance of infection prevention measures like frequent hand washing, cough etiquettes, etc., is indispensable. Amidst the background of COVID-19 infection, it is a must that the governments should ensure provision of universal access to hand hygiene stations, which can be used compulsorily by the people. In conclusion, in the global fight against COVID-19 pandemic, maintenance of hand hygiene has been regarded as the most effective approach to reduce the onward transmission of the infection. Thus, it is the responsibility of the public health authorities to create an adequate number of opportunities for the general community and the health care professionals to practice hand hygiene.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, Hand hygiene, Infection Prevention, World Health Organization


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Exploring the role of hand hygiene in the effective containment of coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic. Matrix Sci Med 2021;5:41-2

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Exploring the role of hand hygiene in the effective containment of coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic. Matrix Sci Med [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Aug 1];5:41-2. Available from: https://www.matrixscimed.org/text.asp?2021/5/2/41/313690




  Introduction Top


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19) pandemic has made all the national leaders and the international organizations to accept the fact that even though we have made extensive progress in the health sector; nevertheless, a single infectious disease has made us realize that the progress is still not enough. It is quite alarming that a total of 14,562,550 cases and 607,781 deaths have been reported worldwide in 216 nations and territories affected by the novel viral infection.[1] It is worth noting that the epicenter of the disease has shifted to the American region and the European region, after its initial high caseload in China and both the caseload as well as the disease specific death rates continue to increase with each day.[1]

Effective strategies

A wide range of interventions has been proposed to effectively contain the infection, namely the active search for cases in community, testing of the suspect cases, isolation and appropriate treatment of the confirmed cases, identification of the contacts and quarantining them, maintaining social distancing and supporting all these measures with infection prevention and control measures to interrupt the chain of transmission.[2] Being an infectious disease, which is highly contagious and is transmitted through close contact or droplets, the importance of infection prevention measures such as frequent hand washing, cough etiquettes, standard use removal disposal of personal protective equipment, and periodic disinfection of the contaminated surfaces is extremely crucial.[2]

Scope of hand hygiene

It is important to note that contact transmission becomes a possibility once contaminated hands touches the mucosa of the eyes mouth nose, and thus, the scope of hand hygiene in interrupting the chain of transmission is crucial.[3],[4] Moreover, the maintenance of hand hygiene is an important domain of disease control for various other bacterial and viral diseases, and thus, it needs to be improved worldwide.[3],[5] However, we have to accept the fact that despite the improvement of awareness about hand hygiene among people, the access to alcohol based hand rubs or soap clean water in either community or hospital settings has not been encouraging.[3] In fact, the available global estimates depict that almost three billion people are deprived of hand hygiene facilities in home and 40% in health care facilities, which are shocking estimates.[3],[6]

Potential recommendations

Amidst the background of COVID 19 infection, it is a must that the governments should ensure the provision of universal access to hand hygiene stations, which can be used compulsorily by the people leaving or entering any public or private property or public transport facilities and same thing needs to be significantly improved in health care establishments as well.[3],[5] This can be accomplished by establishing hand hygiene stations in transport locations or all buildings, and it should be user friendly and adequate in number to avoid unnecessary waiting time.[3],[4] This entire process should be supervised by the public health authorities and to enhance the overall effectiveness, these physical measures should be supported with the arrangement of adequate supply of hand hygiene logistics, training/display of steps of hand hygiene, and awareness activities. The presence of a functional hand hygiene station is a must in health care establishments, and it should be encouraged that all health professionals, patients, family members, or visitors should utilize these services.[3],[6]


  Conclusion Top


In conclusion, in the global fight against COVID 19 pandemic, the maintenance of hand hygiene has been regarded as the most effective approach to reduce the onward transmission of the infection. Thus, it is the responsibility of the public health authorities to create an adequate number of opportunities for the general community and the health care professionals to practice hand hygiene.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 183; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/wha-70-and-phe/20200721-covid-19-sitrep-183.pdf?sfvrsn=b3869b3_2. [Last accessed on 2020 Jul 22].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
World Health Organization. 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019nCoV): Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. Geneva: WHO Press; 2020. p. 1-20.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
World Health Organization. Recommendations to Member States to Improve Hand Hygiene Practices to Help Prevent the Transmission of the COVID-19 Virus-Interim Guidance. Geneva: WHO Press; 2020. p. 1-2.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Cavanagh G, Wambier CG. Rational hand hygiene during the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. J Am Acad Dermatol 2020;82:e211.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Gupta MK, Lipner SR. Hand hygiene in preventing COVID-19 transmission. Cutis 2020;105:233-4.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
World Health Organization, UNICEF. Water, Sanitation, Hygiene, and Waste Management for the COVID-19 Virus. Geneva: WHO Press; 2020. p. 1-4.  Back to cited text no. 6
    




 

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