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Dos and don’ts of wearing gloves to avoid COVID-19 transmission

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sat, April 11, 2020  /  01:38 pm
Dos and don’ts of wearing gloves to avoid COVID-19 transmission

Gloves should mostly be worn when disinfecting and cleaning dirty surfaces. (shutterstock.com/Kristi Blokhin/File)

For many, gloves have become essential in helping to avoid transmission of the coronavirus, as they cover our hands and protect us when touching surfaces that have been exposed to the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that COVID-19 transmission through respiratory droplets is more common than through direct contact and it has yet to advise non-healthcare workers to wear gloves when going outside.

For those who plan on wearing gloves anyway, here are some dos and don’ts regarding their usage during this pandemic:

Do: Wear gloves while cleaning

Gloves and proper air circulation are two important elements when cleaning your house, especially the surfaces in your house that are commonly touched, such as doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks and electronic devices. If someone in your house may have COVID-19, it is recommended to prepare special gloves for cleaning and disinfecting purposes.

Do: Wash your hands before and after wearing gloves

Even if you think your hands are clean, it’s important to take precautionary measures by washing your hands with soap for a minimum of 20 seconds or alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after putting on gloves to prevent contamination.

Do: Wear gloves when taking care of a sick person

Gloves are necessary when handling the dirty laundry of a person infected by COVID-19. Discard your gloves afterward and wash your hands thoroughly.

Don’t: Hastily remove your gloves

According to the CDC, among the proper ways to take off your gloves to prevent further contamination is by slipping your fingers into the second glove and inverting it inside out while slowly releasing it from your hand. It is important to do this carefully.

Read also: Think you know how to wash your hands? Doctors say use this method at 9 specific times

Don’t: Choose the wrong gloves

Thomas Russo, infectious disease division chief at the University of Buffalo, told The Huffington Post that rubber gloves like the ones used by medical staff were easier to properly remove compared to others, such as gloves with thick fabric.

“Even if you remember to decontaminate your gloves, you might not be able to do it optimally,” Russo said.

Don’t: Touch your face while wearing gloves

Debra Goff, infectious disease specialist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, said that gloves could give one a “false sense of security”, especially because traces of the virus on a surface will stick to your gloves instead of your hands. As such, you are at risk of getting contaminated if you touch your face with the gloves.

Don’t: Forget about your personal hygiene

Practicing personal hygiene and physical distancing are still crucial even if you’re wearing gloves as gloves alone won't keep you safe from the virus, as stated by Public Health England. (wir/kes)

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