The COVID-19 pandemic provides a clear reminder that hand washing is one of the simplest ways to prevent the spread of the virus along with other public health measures such as physical distancing, avoiding crowded places, practicing cough etiquette, and wearing masks everywhere and ensure better overall health outcomes. Hand washing with soap is a simple behavior, but it has a tremendous impact on infectious diseases.

With the spread of COVID-19 primarily between people through direct, indirect (through contaminated objects or surfaces), or close contact with an infected person through mouth and nose secretions, washing hands with soap and running water is extremely important. To stop the spread of COVID-19, as well as other behaviors compatible with COVID-19, it is mandatory to practice regular hand washing after coughing or sneezing, when caring for sick people, after using the toilet, before eating, when preparing food and after handling animal or animal waste. Washing hands after touching a common surface such as a doorknob or handle, or after someone comes home from visiting a public place will keep ourselves and others around us safe.

Washing hands with soap has been shown to reduce the risk of diarrhea and respiratory diseases. However, washing hands at critical times (for example, before eating and before defecating) in this part of the world is far from ideal.

The background behind the stipulation of World Handwashing Day was initiated to reduce child mortality where more than 5,000 children under five with diarrhea die every day worldwide as a result of lack of access to clean water and sanitation facilities and health education. The suffering and costs of being sick can be reduced by making simple behavioral changes such as hand washing, which research shows can reduce diarrhea-related mortality by almost 50 percent.

Here are the mistakes that are often made when washing hands :

  • Not washing hands regularly

Every day we do various activities that involve our hands. As a result, the risk of the virus lodged in our hands is also higher. When the virus has contaminated our hands, the virus can easily transfer to our body through the mouth, eyes, and nose. That's why hand washing is the best way to get rid of the disease-causing virus. After being in public places where we may touch items such as shopping baskets, tables, or doorknobs after coughing or sneezing before touching our face especially eyes, nose, mouth before and after eating food and preparing food after going to the bathroom after touching pets before and after making or preparing food before and after caring for including changing baby diapers, after taking out the trash.

  • Using too little soap

Using soap and running water is an effective way to wash your hands. Unfortunately, people often use too little soap when washing their hands. Actually we don't need to use antibacterial soap to get rid of viruses from our hands. However, use soap with the right size so that our hands are really clean. If you're using liquid soap, use up to the size of a coin. Then spread the soap all over your hands so that dirt and viruses are lifted.

  • Not rubbing the whole hand

After wetting our hands with water, we must sweep the soap all over our hands, including between the fingers and under the nails. However, many people miss this. That's why, we should wash our hands with a minimum duration of 20 seconds to make sure all parts of our hands are clean.

  • Not drying hands

Germs or viruses can be transferred easily from wet hands. So, don't forget to dry your hands with a clean towel after washing them. If you are in a public place, use a tissue to dry your hands. Avoid using electric dryers because they can actually spread germs or viruses.


Reference :

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020). Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): FAQ on Hand Hygiene. Retrieved from https://www. ne-faq.html

Ryan MA, Christian RS, Wohlrabe J. Handwashing and respiratory illness among young adults in military training. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2001, 21:79–83. doi:10.1016/S0749- 3797(01)00323-3 pmid:11457626


Picture source: