Promoting good hygiene is one of the easiest yet most powerful ways to combat Covid-19. While we are still learning about the ways coronavirus spreads, studies have proven that a person can get infected simply by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it.
“Regular handwashing is the time-tested method of preventing any infections including the novel coronavirus,” says Dr Kavitha Sunderranjan, Specialist Paediatrician at Prime Medical Centre, Deira branch.
As we all know droplet infection is the predominant mode of transmission of the virus. Hence, it is imperative for us to keep our home clean and safe to prevent the spread of virus.
Back to basics
Several recent studies have also demonstrated that hand hygiene is a critical element of any infection control activities. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. It’s especially important to wash before eating or preparing food, as well as before touching your face, nose and eyes. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitiser that contains at least 60 per cent alcohol.
There has been a surge in demand for hand soap and hand sanitisers globally since the eruption of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to a recent report by Research and Markets, the hand soap and sanitiser segment is currently growing at 262 per cent. As the most frequently purchased product during the pandemic, demand for hand sanitisers alone is projected to reach $39.1 billion (Dh143.6 billion) by 2027.
DermoViva hand sanitisers contain 70 per cent alcohol and effectively kills 99.9 per cent germs and viruses with proper use.
To help people maintain hand hygiene during the pandemic, Dabur International has launched a range of hand sanitisers under its flagship skincare brand, DermoViva.
“Our hand sanitisers contain 70 per cent alcohol and effectively kills 99.9 per cent germs and viruses with proper use,” says Krishan Kumar Chutani, CEO, Dabur International. “Enriched with aloe vera and olive, DermoViva sanitisers ensure your skin remains safe even with multiple uses. DermoViva also has a range of hand washes enriched with olive, aloe vera, chamomile and saffron that ensure washing away of germs and viruses, while keeping your hands soft and moisturised.”
He also points out that Covid-19 has pushed demand for hand wash and sanitisers in the UAE, as consumers are increasingly looking for essential hygiene products to protect them from infections.
“We have received very positive reviews for our range of sanitisers and hand washes from consumers and trade alike. Our recent additions, antibacterial wipes and hand sanitising sprays have also been liked by the consumers for their ease of use. With such positive response from consumers, we have extended our offerings to institutions and corporate buyers, customising as per their requirement,” Chutani adds.
Along with hand hygiene, there is also renewed emphasis on extensive cleaning and disinfection of homes and offices as well as frequently touched surfaces to lower the risk of infection.
“As we all know droplet infection is the predominant mode of transmission of the virus. Hence, it is imperative for us to keep our home clean and safe to prevent the spread of virus,” says Dr Sunderranjan. “Household cleaning solutions remove the dirt and dust but, we need to properly disinfect the frequently touched surfaces such as door knobs, tables, desks, telephone, computer keyboards, kitchen and counter tops to kill the germs,” she explains.
Dr Zeeshan Anwar, General Practitioner, Aster Clinic – International City, Dubai, emphasises the importance of frequent cleaning and disinfection of clothes, bed sheets and towels for maintaining proper hygiene at home. “Clean these items with soap or detergent using warm water and dry them thoroughly. Wear disposable gloves while washing, if the clothes are very dirty.”
The hidden hazards
During a pandemic, it is more important than ever to incorporate healthy habits that can help boost your immunity and prevent illnesses, say doctors. A habit of thorough cleaning of home furnishings and hard-to-reach places on a regular basis also benefits people suffering from allergies and asthma. All the indoor allergens like dust, moulds, pollen, pet danders and cockroach droppings can impact your respiratory health and immunity in a big way.
Avoid cleaning products that contain harsh chemicals like ammonia and formaldehyde as well as scented cleaners and detergents, as fragrance can trigger allergy.
“Use a vacuum cleaner with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters,” says Dr Anwar. “We also need to pay attention to the maintenance of air conditioning units to prevent a number of illnesses. Get the air ducts cleaned at least once a year and ensure that no one smokes at home as smoking is one of the biggest allergy triggering factors.”
He adds, “Avoid cleaning products that contain harsh chemicals like ammonia and formaldehyde as well as scented cleaners and detergents, as fragrance can trigger allergy.”
Dr Anwar also asks us to be careful while choosing cleaning products for homes to avoid a range of health complications.
Hypochlorous acid is the safest and most effective disinfectant known to us and this is completely natural.
“There are a number of very effective solutions available in the market based on alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and quaternary ammonium compounds, among others. However, not all of them are safe for your eyes and skin or suitable for daily disinfection,” says Evguenia Demenko, Sales and Marketing Director, SterilOx, a Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (Rakez)-based company, which manufactures all natural and 100 per cent safe disinfection products. “Hypochlorous acid is the safest and most effective disinfectant known to us and this is completely natural.”
Covid-19 has made us realise the devastating potential of microbiological threats. “Educating us on this topic is the best protection we can give ourselves against the pandemic,” says Demenko. “The biggest risk to our health is not external, it’s internal — the food we eat, and the products we use at home and offices. Raising our awareness on this leads to healthier choices, allowing us to make informed decisions on product selection based on knowledge and science rather than false or misleading claims by brands.”