‘This Is the Time to Act Collectively’: Anticipating Coronavirus Spread, Groups Seek to Scale Up Handwashing and Hygiene Efforts

By March 25, 2020 Water News

By Brett Walton, Circle of Blue

In tweets and business tweaks, the world is relearning that clean hands are a first line of defense against disease and infection.

Amid the global coronavirus pandemic, handwashing and hygiene are swelling in urgency and support, even though the message being delivered is not new.

“It’s a known solution,” said Lindsay Denny, health adviser to Global Water 2020, a water, sanitation, and hygiene advocacy group. Denny was referring to hygienic practices being a safeguard against disease transmission. “We’ve known the solution for 150 years. It absolutely could be scaled and should be scaled up.”

Handwashing is a hard sell in calm times, when aspects of the health and medical industry like drug development attract more attention and funding than preventative measures. But today, the simple but potent combination of soap and water is having a moment that advocates are looking to take advantage of.

Though messages about handwashing and hygiene are breaking into the mainstream during the Covid-19 outbreak, the global nature of the pandemic is erecting extraordinary barriers to the movement of goods.

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