While hand hygiene is crucial, the World Economic Forum (WEF) in its recent report has highlighted that drying hands after washing is equally important.
Coronavirus Prevention: Hand drying properly is as important as washing them, WEF’s new report says. There have been many advisories by the World Health Organisation (WHO), governments and health experts to wash hands frequently as a means to prevent the novel Coronavirus. While hand hygiene is crucial, the World Economic Forum (WEF) in its recent report has highlighted that drying hands after washing is equally important. It stated that how people dry their hands is something that needs to be looked at. The report said that drying hands in a proper way is essential, especially for doctors and healthcare professionals.
According to the report, drying hands with a hot air dryer and towels is problematic in hospitals. It can increase the risk of particles as well as microorganism dispersion in air and can contaminate the environment. Cloth roller towels, too, are not recommended as normal use of towels can further contaminate the hands when a person dries them next time, thus acting a source of pathogen transmission. For this, WEF has suggested that the best way to dry hands after cleaning are disposable paper towels. It is advisable for those who are visiting hospitals be it staff, patient or a visitor. The report said that usage of paper towel is the quickest and efficient method that will help remove residual moisture. It is to note that moist hands have a tendency that can allow transmission of microbes.
Meanwhile, WEF also mentioned when a person should wash their hands. It includes washing hands after sneezing and coughing, frequently while taking care of a sick person, before and after preparing food and before eating. Hands should also be washed when they seem dirty, after using the washroom and after handling animals or their waste. At a time when lakhs of people across countries are affected due to COVID-19, maintaining hand hygiene- washing and right way of drying, become of utmost importance. WHO has advised people to wash hands by soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol based sanitizer to keep them clean.