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Jakarta Post

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

  • Gisela Swaragita
    Gisela Swaragita

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, March 4, 2020   /   03:23 pm
Think you know how to wash your hands? Doctors say use this method at 9 specific times Good hygiene and habitually washing your hands are essential to reduce the risk of common infections. (Shutterstock/Alexander Raths)

The Association of Indonesian Emergency Doctors (PDEI) has released a practical guide for proper hand washing according to the international standard to help the public counter the threat of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“The public should keep calm, stop panicking and stay alert. The most important thing is to maintain the body’s immunity and hygiene, as well as to keep a safe distance from the sick,” PDEI chief Mohammad Adib Khumaidi said in a release made available to The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

Read also: The dos and don’ts of wearing masks in our fight against COVID-19

Quoting the Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) organization, the PDEI suggested people wash their hands at these times:

  • Before, during and after cooking or preparing food.
  • Before eating.
  • Before and after taking care of sick people.
  • Before and after taking care of open wounds or blisters.
  • After using the bathroom or toilet.
  • After changing diapers or cleaning children in the toilet.
  • After touching animals, feeding animals or cleaning up animal feces.
  • After touching animal food.
  • After touching garbage or throwing out garbage.

In addition to those times, the PDEI recommends people wash their hands before and after using contact lenses, after sneezing, coughing or wiping off nasal mucus and after shaking hands with other people.

Adib said washing hands with soap was the best way to eliminate germs from the hands. 

Read also: Panic buying hits Jakarta supermarkets as govt announces first COVID-19 cases

If you are in a place without water or soap, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer gel. Hand sanitizers in the form of a gel are effective at eliminating germs but do not kill all types of bacteria.

Adib shared a detailed guide for effective hand washing:

  • Wet your hands with running water, turn off the tap, and then apply an adequate amount of soap to your hands.
  • Scrub your hands. Make sure to scrub between your fingers, the back of your hands and the skin under your nails.
  • Join your fingers and your palm, and scrub the inner side of your hands.
  • Place your left fingers on the back of your right hand and scrub – and vice versa.
  • Scrub the left thumb using your right hand with a rotating move – and vice versa.
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds.
  • Rinse your hands with running water.
  • Dry your hands with a clean towel or air dry.
  • If possible, turn off the faucet using your elbow or tissue paper to avoid touching germs on the knob.