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SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 48  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 48-49

Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic: Strengthening water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities for interrupting the chain of transmission


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, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission03-Sep-2020
Date of Acceptance12-Sep-2020
Date of Web Publication5-May-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, Chengalpet District - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jss.JSS_71_20

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  Abstract 


The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has stretched the health system beyond their capacity & capability. The initial evidence has suggested that the infection is transmitted from one person to another through close contacts and droplets and thus the role of infection prevention strategies is extremely important. It has been advocated that frequent and proper maintenance of hand hygiene can prove to be the most effective strategy to prevent infection acquisition. However, in order to maintain hand hygiene, it is ideal to have access to safe water, sanitation and hygienic (WASH) facilities, as this will significantly reduce the risk of the transmission of infection between humans. Thus, all steps should be taken to ensure that improved WASH facilities and waste management provisions are available at home, education institutions, workplaces, community and health care establishment. In conclusion, the provision of standard WASH facilities in all the settings is critical to strengthen hand hygiene practices and thereby plays a significant role in reducing the risk of acquisition of infection and thus the caseload of COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, WASH facilities, Hand hygiene, World Health Organization


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic: Strengthening water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities for interrupting the chain of transmission. J Sci Soc 2021;48:48-9

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic: Strengthening water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities for interrupting the chain of transmission. J Sci Soc [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Jun 17];48:48-9. Available from: https://www.jscisociety.com/text.asp?2021/48/1/48/315456




  Introduction Top


The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to expand in terms of caseload and distribution across different nations with each day and thus has stretched the health system beyond their capacity and capability and also produced a massive disruption in the daily routines of everyone. The global estimates stand at 25 million cases and 800,000 deaths, which approximates to a case fatality rate of more than 3%.[1] The disease has been detected across all the continents and it has been reported across 216 nations and territories, which is a shocking estimate for a novel infection.[1] It is high time that we all act together and strengthen all the components of infection prevention and control through accelerated response.


  Infection prevention and control Top


The initial evidence has suggested that the infection is transmitted from one person to another through close contacts and droplets and thus the role of infection prevention strategies and social distancing through isolation or quarantine is extremely important. The role of these interventions is crucial as till date, we are not having an effective therapeutic drug or a vaccine against the disease, which are usually the mainstay for the containment of any infectious disease. The domain of infection prevention usually includes maintenance of hand hygiene, cough etiquettes, respiratory hygiene, safe use-removal-disposal of personal protective equipment, and periodic disinfection of the contaminated surfaces using disinfectants.[2]


  Strengthening WASH facilities Top


It has been advocated that frequent and proper maintenance of hand hygiene can prove to be the most effective strategy to prevent infection acquisition. However, in order to maintain hand hygiene, it is ideal to have access to safe water, sanitation, and hygienic (WASH) facilities, as this will significantly reduce the risk of the transmission of infection between humans.[2],[3] Thus, all steps should be taken to ensure that improved WASH facilities and waste management provisions are available at home, education institutions, workplaces, community, and health-care establishment.[3] In domiciliary setting, regular handwashing has been envisaged before preparing food, before and after eating, after using the toilet, or after touching animals. In fact, handwashing with soap and clean water has been recommended after all the above procedures, and it acts as an important barrier to transmission of infection.[3]


  Extending domiciliary care Top


The practice of handwashing becomes extremely critical, when suspect or confirmed cases are present in the home. Domiciliary care has been recommended for milder forms of the disease and when there are no beds available in the hospital.[4] Both the patients as well as the identified caregiver should strictly adhere to the recommended handwashing practices.[4] For visibly dirty hands, it should be washed with soap and water, while for clean hands, the use of alcohol-based hand rub is envisaged using the recommended six-step procedure.[3],[5] In addition, the surfaces which are frequently touched during patients' care should be disinfected using 0.5% sodium hypochlorite, while 70% ethanol is recommended for disinfecting reusable dedicated instruments like thermometers.[3]


  Sanitation facilities Top


As there is no conclusive evidence available about the shredding of the virus in the excreta, it is extremely important to manage the excreta safely and ensure that no one comes in contact with the same.[2],[3],[4] In order to ensure that it is best that the infected people should have access to dedicated toilet, and no one else should use it.[3] Moreover, the role of safe management of health care waste cannot be undermined and all the staff or caregivers should be trained to ensure its safe disposal regardless of the settings. All the above-mentioned measures should be strictly adhered even in the health-care settings and the staffs should be periodically trained in this regard.[5]


  Conclusion Top


In conclusion, the provision of standard WASH facilities in all the settings is critical to strengthen hand hygiene practices and thereby plays a significant role in reducing the risk of acquisition of infection and thus the caseload of COVID-19.

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)-Weekly Epidemiological Report; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200831-weekly-epi-update-3.pdf?sfvrsn=d7032a2a_4. [Last accessed on 2020 Sep 02].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
World Health Organization; 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV): Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. Geneva: WHO Press; 2020. p. 1-6.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
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. 3
    
4.
World Health Organization. Home Care for Patients with Suspected Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) Infection Presenting with Mild Symptoms and Management of Contacts-Interim Guidance. Geneva: WHO Press; 2020. p. 1-3.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Huh S. How to train health personnel to protect themselves from SARS-CoV-2 (novel coronavirus) infection when caring for a patient or suspected case J Educ Eval Health Prof 2020;17:10.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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  In this article
Abstract
Introduction
Infection preven...
Strengthening WA...
Extending domici...
Sanitation facil...
Conclusion
References

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