New Delhi: As Coronavirus cases rise in India with each passing day, personal protective equipment like sanitisers and masks disappear from shelves of various supermarkets and stores. Moreover, there are reports that larger cities have started selling the coveted items at a double and triple price to panicky buyers. So, is hand gel or sanitisers really effective against fighting the global pandemic – coronavirus? And, if so, what are the things you should keep in mind, before buying one. NDTV speaks with experts to know all about hand sanitisers and if they are effective to prevent coronavirus. According to the World Health Organisation, precautionary measures like washing hands regularly with soap and water and keeping hands clean with an alcohol-based sanitiser is a must.
Dr. Sharad Joshi, Principal Consultant, Pulmonology, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Vaishali says, “Washing hands with soap and water is more effective than using sanitiser. Sanitisers should be used by people who are travelling and do not have access to water and soap. It should be noted, if hands are loaded with dirt or oil, the effectiveness of sanitiser is comparatively less.”
Mr Joshi further talks about the precautionary measures one should take at this crucial time and said, “For coronavirus prevention, use a sanitiser with 60-70 per cent alcohol content. One should make use of a sanitiser immediately after interaction with someone who is sick or after touching any surface.”
Dr.Tejas Suresh Rao, Consultant Internal Medicine, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital Yeshwanthpur 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 per cent 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.”
Dr Nahid Bhadelia from Boston Medical Center says, “From what we know about this coronavirus, it’s similar to SARS and MERS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and Middle East respiratory syndrome), so it should not be that difficult of a microorganism to kill, therefore soap and water, and alcohol-based hand sanitisers, can kill it. However, if soap or sanitisers is not used correctly, they will not be able to kill germs and will, therefore, be ineffective.
India has already reported two deaths – one from Karnataka, where a 76-year-old man died in Kalaburagi district on March 13, who was tested positive for novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. The following day, India reported its second death, which is of a 68-year-old woman from Delhi.
Amid the concerns and scare related to the virus, the government has also taken many steps to tackle the global crisis of COVID-19. The government has shut borders to existing visas – except diplomatic, official, UN/international organisations, employment and project – till April 15. Indian nationals are strongly advised to avoid all non-essential travel abroad and on their return, they can be subjected to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.
Across the country, many schools, colleges and movie theatres have been shut down in order to avoid mass gathering and put a check on the spread of the COVID-19 – Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, to name a few, are the states that have taken this action.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.