Infectious Diseases

Updated 17 March 2020

Coronavirus: Basic protective measures

Maintain social distancing and practise good hand and respiratory hygiene.

As recommended by the World Health Organization:

Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Why do this? Soap and water or an alcohol-based rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.

Practise and maintain social distancing

  • Keep at least one metre of distance between yourself and a person who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Why do this? The virus spreads when liquid droplets are expelled through the air – when someone coughs or sneezes. In the event that you are too close, you could breathe in the droplets, which may contain the Covid-19 virus, if the person coughing or sneezing is infected.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

  • Why do this? Your hands touch many surfaces and can potentially pick up the virus. Once your hands are contaminated, the virus can be transferred through your eyes, nose or mouth where it enters your body.

Practice respiratory hygiene

  • Don't cough or sneeze into your hands. Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Don't forget to throw away the tissue immediately.
  • Why do this? Droplets expelled when sneezing or coughing spread viruses.

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