Coronavirus In India: How Effective Are Hand Sanitisers In Preventing Coronavirus? Doctors Explain

Coronavirus prevention: Washing of hands and regularly using hand sanitiser are important steps for preventing COVID-19. Read here to know what doctors have to say about effectiveness of both these steps.

Coronavirus In India: How Effective Are Hand Sanitisers In Preventing Coronavirus? Doctors Explain
Coronavirus prevention: Use a sanitiser with 60-70% alcohol content whenever you are travellingCoronavirus in India: The Karnataka health ministry has confirmed the first death due to COVID-19 in India on Thursday. According to Karnataka Health Minister B. Sriramulu, a 76-year-old man from Kalaburgi in the state's northern region died of coronavirus. The number of cases of coronavirus in India is on a rise post holi and crossed 70 this week. Personal hygiene including hand washing and sanitisation has been considered effective measures to prevent catching the virus. Hand sanitisers have been widely used to keep hands clean and wipe off dirt and bacteria. A shortage of hand sanitiser has also been reported due to increased demand during the current coronavirus outbreak. In this article, we find out how effective are these hand rubs and which is the best sanitiser, especially for coronavirus prevention. Read on to know the answers. 

How to wash your hands correctly
Videographic on how to wash your hands correctly. The death toll from the new coronavirus epidemic surpassed 3,000 on Monday as more people died in China, Iran and the US and Europe raised its state of alert.

Coronavirus prevention: How effective are hand sanitisers to prevent coronavirus?

According to the World Health Organisation, you should regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands. Coronavirus can spread from the droplets from mouth or nose of an infected person. Coughing and sneezing make the transmission of these droplets easier. If these droplets land on a surface, transmission is possible by touching such objects or surfaces. Cleaning your hands can help you get rid of virus present on your hands.

Coronavirus: Use a alcohol based sanitiser with more than 70% acohol content
Photo Credit: iStock
According to Dr. Sharad Joshi from Max hospital, "Washing hands with soap and water is more effective than using sanitiser. Those who are travelling and do not have access to water and soap should use hand sanitiser in such a case. But if hands are loaded with dirt or oil, the effectiveness of sanitiser is comparatively less."
"Use a sanitiser with 60-70% alcohol content whenever you are travelling. Do not miss using sanitiser after interaction with someone who is sick or after touching any surface," Dr. Joshi added.
Coronavirus: Washing hands with soap and water is considered more effective than use of a hand rub
Photo Credit: iStock
Dr.Tejas Suresh Rao from Columbia Asia Hospital explains, "Sanitisers have been tested for various viruses. These can help in getting rid of all possible viruses on your hands. On should use an alcohol-based sanitiser with almost 70% alcohol content. There are several other sanitisers available with an oil base or less alcohol. It is not recommended to use such sanitisers. There is no such data that can support the use of sanitisers other than alcohol-based."

Things you should keep in mind while using a sanitiser-
  1. Make sure your hands are dry before using a hand rub
  2. Do not wash your hands after using a sanitiser
  3. After using a sanitiser make sure that it absorbs properly into your skin
Do not ignore the symptoms of coronavirus. Seek medical help immediately, if you experience any symptoms.

(Dr. Sharad Joshi, Principal Consultant, Pulmonology, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Vaishali)
(Dr. Tejas Suresh Rao, Consultant Internal Medicine, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital Yeshwanthpur)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.