Four Steps: How to Wash Hands

Updated: Jul 9

You have heard by now that the Novel Coronavirus (nCOV) is spreading across Hubei Province in China and around the globe. In Singapore, as of 31 January 2020,1200hrs, 16 people have been confirmed to carry nCOV.

While those infected in Singapore were all from WuHan, it is still important for everyone to practice proper hygiene standards to prevent further spread. The simplest way to keep yourself protected is to wash your hands.


Sure, you might think using a sanitiser suffices, but did you know that sanitisers may only work if it is 60% alcohol and only for certain bacteria?


Hence, it is important to stick to proper hand washing.


Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to wash your hands and prevent the spread!


What you will need:


Step One: Rinse

Your first step should be to wet your hands. The temperature of the water does not affect the cleanliness in anyway, however, warmer water indicates higher chance of skin irritation for those with sensitive skin.


Step Two: Lather

Get your soap ready and turn off the faucet. While you might think touching the faucet again might spread any pathogens onto your hands from the handle, studies show that there is no significant link to pathogenic contamination and faucet handles. Hence, it is safe! You are also saving the environment!


While lathering your hands, follow these instructions by the Ministry of Health (Singapore).

It is important to take note of the following points when lathering:

  • You should scrub your hands for at least 20-seconds before drying.

  • As a rough gauge, humming the birthday song twice should be 20-seconds.

  • Ensure fingernails, wrist and between-fingers are cleaned as they are the most overlooked places for cleaning.


Step Three: Rinse Thoroughly

Once the lathering is complete, turn on the faucet again and rinse thoroughly with water. Ensure all the soap is washed off by following the steps above again until your hands are completely clear of soap.


Step Four: Dry

Yes! Drying is also important!


Don’t sprinkle water around or wipe your hands on your shirt or pants.


Pathogens spread faster when water is present. While you may have washed your hands, pathogens may be present on wet hands and sprinkling water around is just irresponsible behaviour that might cause pathogens from proliferating again!


Take either a towel or tissue and dry your hands thoroughly. Dispose the tissue properly and hang-dry your towel.


There you have it!


Four simple and foolproof ways to ensure the spread of viruses are kept to a minimal. Wash your hands constantly and stay safe from the nCOV spread.


For more information please visit https://www.moh.gov.sg/2019-ncov-wuhan/faqs for updates on what the Singapore government’s responses are to the nCOV spread!


Stay Safe!

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