COVID-19: Cleaning, disinfecting not the same —Experts

Maintaining personal hygiene is the very first thing that is effective in preventing Coronavirus infection. In this article by Sade Oguntola, experts in infection control also highlight salient ways to avoid the infection both at home and outside.

IS Covid-19 making you worried if you are cleaning your home enough? So far, medical advice has focused mostly on the importance of frequent washing of hands with soap and flowing water, which is said to be the most effective protection against the new disease.

Cleaning and disinfecting are not the same. Soap cleans and is the first choice for hands. It works by allowing dirt and germs to detach from the skin and get rinsed off.

Disinfecting is the first choice for surfaces to ensure they are clean at all times. Coronavirus spreads through droplets sprayed into the air when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Thus, it is unlikely that these droplets remain air bound and enter into the house with the wind.

Coronavirus can last from several hours up to days depending on the nature and texture of a surface. It can remain stable on porous surfaces like ceramics for several days. It can also survive on stainless steel, plastic and cardboard for many days.

Dr Adeola Fowotade, a virologist at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, said a good disinfectant to routinely clean high-touch surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks and toys is a 0.5 per cent bleach solution.

A good disinfectant solution is a diluted solution of household bleach. To make a 0.5 per cent bleach solution, mix 10mls of bleach per 60mls of water or four teaspoons of bleach per quart of water.

Keeping the COVID-19 situation in mind, refrain people walking into the house with their outside shoes is also important. “This disinfectant can also be sprayed on the sole of the shoe to kill whatever germ, including coronavirus, that it could have brought from outside into the house before exposing the shoes to the sun,” she added.

Coronavirus can survive on the floor for some time. Before now, many people mopped the floor with detergent and water.

However, Dr Fawotade said, “a disinfectant made with a bleach solution is a better option to mop floors with to kill whatever germs maybe deposited.”

If you’re coming home after being in a high-risk environment, like the market or the hospital, she suggested removing clothes worn, washing the hands and then wearing another change of clothes.

The used clothes should not be put together with the general laundry of the house, they should preferably be soaked in hot water for about 20 minutes and then either hand-washed or machine wash before spreading in the sun. Such is ironed also.

She added “For someone like me that works in a hospital, I have not worn a wristwatch or bangles for many weeks since the problem started and that is because I am trying to reduce the things that can be potential source of having the virus.

“And then when we go out and carry out transactions we should carry out cashless transaction as much as possible.

You don’t know those that might have touched the money and what that person is carrying on his or her hand.”

The hair could be a potential source of the virus, especially those that go out with their heads uncovered.

“Someone that goes around without covering the hair might consider washing their hair with warm water at the end of the day. I do that every evening just before going to bed. This definitely will be easier for those of us that have natural hair or dread,” Dr Fowotade added.

A clean environment is also basic for preventing any form of infectious diseases. Everything about COVID 19 is not known at the moment. She, however, declared that maintaining a clean environment is also basic to COVID-19 prevention.

Since COVID-19 is primarily spread by aerosol droplets and the lockdown is relaxed, one must ensure that the germs are not brought back into the house. This, she said, would require that individuals always wear nose masks when outside the home and board only commercial vehicles with three occupants or be the lone passenger on a commercial motor.

Should you be wary of what foods and drink to take and their preparation to fend off infection? So far, medical advice has focused mostly on the importance of washing our hands and social distance. But Dr Hannah Adegbola, a medical microbiologist and head of UCH’s infectious control committee added that people need to also desist from using their teeth to cut open pure water sachets.

Often the possibility of the chilled sachet water sold on streets then touched on the tip by hawkers or other people who may also be infected with coronavirus cannot be ruled out. It could be a way the virus enters the mouth.

Most homes cook their food for a long time, so the possibility of the virus surviving the high temperature has not been proven. However, she said foods that are eaten raw such as cabbage, mangoes and oranges may constitute a threat and should be individually washed with vinegar or little soap under running water.

Dr Adegbola-Dada said poor cough etiquette and such dirty habits of wiping off mucus from the nose with the hand, make eating in eateries also a threat in the prevention of COVID-19. A contaminated food, whether from Coronavirus or other disease-causing germs is better avoided.

Face masks’ care, handling and disposal, Mrs Adebimpe Gbaja, UCHs Chief Infection Control nurse, said is also important. Face masks, she said should be personalised, the fabric types washed and left in the sun and ironed while the disposable ones are thrown into covered dust bins.

According to Mrs Gbaja, “the virus could have settled on it, perhaps when in contact with somebody that is infected. By handling it with the hands and without proper hand hygiene, one can infect one’s self and others. That is why washing it every day is advocated: you wash and dry under the sun and iron.”

Already community transmission of COVID-19 has been established. In ensuring no contact at the saloon, Mrs Gbaja said although the clippers might have been sterilised, it is better for both the barber and the person having a hair cut to wear a face mask. Talking without a face mask and the closeness in barbing are potential means of coming in contact with the infection.

Also, she emphasised cleaning items frequently touched and carried around, such as house or car keys, cellphone, wallet and purse.

She said the practice of stacking clothes worn for the week to be washed later in the week is not advisable for now; these clothes might have been worn when in contact with an asymptomatic person infected with coronavirus.

Things like bedsheets, towels, or reusable kitchen napkins are not washed frequently in many households. Keeping the COVID-19 situation in mind, consider changing the bed sheet every couple of days and wash hand towels after each use.

No one gets infected by touching the virus. It cannot pass through the skin, only through a mucosal membrane. Infection occurs when the virus is on your hands, and when you touch your eyes, nose or mouth. So when in the car, keep it clean by wiping the steering wheel, dashboard and door handle with disinfectant. Put bags in the trunk, not inside the car.

 

YOU SHOULD NOT MISS THESE HEADLINES FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

Buy and read digital replicas of your TRIBUNE titles by subscribing through E-VENDING

Apologise To Nigerians For Denying Links With Chinese Doctors, PDP Tells FG
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the Federal Government over denials and cover-up on the whereabouts and activities of the Chinese medical team who came into the country in April. The party which said such was a betrayal of the public trust by its citizens on the government, the Federal… Read full story

COVID-19: IGP Orders Strict Enforcement Of Inter-State Movement Restriction Orders
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, on Tuesday, ordered strict enforcement of the national curfew and inter-state movement restriction orders emplaced by the Federal Government as part of measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country… Read full story

Buhari Removes TCN MD One Month After He Reportedly Sacked Labour Leader
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday removed Usman Gur Mohammed as the Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and replaced him with an engineer, Mr Sule Abdulaziz. He was removed about one month after he reportedly sacked a labour leader who was also the General… Read full story

Osinbajo, NCP Mull Healthcare Reforms
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday, presided over a meeting of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) to approve a draft legislative instrument for national healthcare reforms. His spokesman, Laolu Akande, informed that the meeting also discussed power sector issues… Read full story

I’m Not Aware Of Plan To Deport 15,000 Nigerian Students From Malaysia, Says Minister
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, has said he was not aware of move by the Malaysian government to deport over 15,000 Nigerian students in the country. Responding to question from newsmen on Tuesday at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing, the minister, who assured that… Read full story

Reps Summon Minister Of Health Over Whereabouts Of Chinese Medical Team
The House of Representatives on Tuesday resolved to summon the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Eramie over the detailed status report on the activities and whereabouts of the 15 Chinese medical team in Nigeria. The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance sponsored… Read full story

We Can’t Listen To Trump On Hydroxychloroquine For COVID-19, Says PTF
The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Tuesday dismissed the claim and the advice of United States President, Donald Trump, on the use of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug, for COVID-19. Speaking at the daily briefing of the PTF in Abuja, both Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire and the Director General… Read full story

We Have Failed If We Don’t Learn From COVID-19 To Build Institutions ― PTF
Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 pandemic says Nigeria would have failed its next generation if it does it learn from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to build enduring and sustainable institutions. Speaking at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 pandemic, its chairman… Read full story

For Taking Hydroxychloroquine Against Coronavirus, Trump Is Governing By Witchcraft, Says China
China lashed out at President Donald Trump on Tuesday, claiming the US president is using ‘witchcraft’ to lead during the coronavirus pandemic after he admitted to taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent contracting the disease. Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of China Communist Party’s official publication, Global Times, blamed… Read full story

Reps To Conduct Forensic Audit Of NNPC’s Recent Recruitment
The House of Representatives on Tuesday unveiled plans to conduct a forensic investigation into the recent recruitment of graduate trainees by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) with a view to determining how many persons were recruited from the various host communities… Read full story

Senate To Probe N1.532trn Intervention Fund To Power Sector •Demands revocation of privatization
The Senate on Tuesday mandated its Committee on Power sector to probe the over N1.532trillion intervention fund injected to the ailing sector in the last seven years. It equally asked President Muhammadu Buhari administration to revoke the privatisation of the sector… Read full story

Coronavirus Won’t Stop Our Programme For Ondo, Edo Governorship Elections, INEC Says
Okoye revealed that a policy framework for engagement with stakeholders, the conduct of the two end of tenure governorship elections, outstanding by-elections and future electoral activities… Read full story

EDITORIAL: Coronavirus: The Reversal Of The Gains Of Lockdown
NIGERIA began a “phased and gradual” lifting of the lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19 on May 4. This followed the announcement by President Muhammadu Buhari on April 28 that it had become imperative to ease the lockdown in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun states because many citizens had lost… Read full story

COVID-19: Introduce National Policy On Online Education, Reps Tell FG
The House of Representatives on Tuesday underscored the need for relevant authorities in charge of education in Nigeria to urgently develop a National Policy and Framework for online education for schools at various levels. The lawmakers said the policy should be developed with the view to salvaging the… Read full story

You might also like
Comments

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More