Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health

Thu 12 March 2020:

London: As deadly coronavirus continues to spread, people are being urged to regularly wash their hands.

Soap and water is the best method for keeping them clean but many have stocked up on hand sanitizers while on-the-go. However, experts have warned that wearing a watch or rings could render alcohol rubs useless against coronavirus.

Professor Mark Wilcox, a microbiologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The NHS infection prevention & control rules regarding hand jewelry say that wrist items of any description should be removed. “You cannot successfully clean your wrists, which from a hand hygiene perspective are part of your hands, while wearing anything thereon. A simple wedding ring or band is allowed, partly through pragmatism, but “fancy” or jeweled rings are not,” Professor Wilcox said.

Professor of Molecular Virology, Nottingham University Jonathan Ball said: “Thorough hand washing or liberal and correct application of sanitizers gels would always be advisable and that certainly means ensuring that hidden nooks and crannies are cleaned, especially under rings on fingers and the like.” He added that it’s unclear how much surface contamination can be picked up on a watch.

Professor Ball added: “These viruses don’t live on your skin like lots of bacteria do, they are simple passengers moving from surface to hand then onto your eyes, nose or mouth. “Provided that you keep any surface that is likely to have been in contact with a contaminated surface then you should be fine, but obviously the more thorough your cleaning ritual is, the better,” Professor Ball explained.

Experts have also warned against having long or artificial nails as they can “bacteria, viruses, dirt, and debris” can collect underneath them. Professor Wilcox added that fake nails are not “welcomed”. It comes as nail biters were warned against the habit as it could increase the risk of catching coronavirus. 

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