The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has spread across 194 countries affected more than 4,00,000 people. How did it get so far? 

A lot of this spread could have been contained if people took care of their basic hygiene. Washing hands, maintaining proper distance and respiratory hygiene - these three key factors can restrict the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

COVID-19 spreads through direct human contact. When an infected person sneezes or coughs, they release infected droplets from their mouth and nose. When a healthy person inhales this air, the virus in the droplets is able to enter the body through the nose or mouth. 

Moreover, the disease also spreads through surface contact. The droplets from the infected person can stay on objects and surfaces for hours. When a healthy person touches these infected surfaces, they carry the virus on their hands and then transmit it to their body by touching their eyes, nose or mouth with the same hands.

To avoid this, people have been advised to wash hands with soap and water frequently or, when that isn't possible, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers (with at least 60% alcohol in it).

While using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer would kill the germs present on the surface of the hands, washing hands with soap would remove them completely from your hands giving you better protection against the disease.

Here's how you can wash your hands in a proper way.

  1. When should you wash your hands?
  2. How to wash your hands?
Doctors for Right way to wash your hands and avoid COVID-19 infection

One must wash hands with soap and water even if they are visibly clean to ensure that the hands are free of any germs. You should wash your hands:

  • When you come back from outdoors
  • Before you start preparing food for yourself or your family
  • Before starting to eat to make sure that you do not ingest any germs
  • After using the toilet 
  • After touching high-touch surfaces like doorknobs, switches, tabletops, sink faucets and cellphones
  • After changing the nappies of infants
  • After cleaning the laundry and dishes of a COVID-19 affected child or adult
  • After contact with a COVID-19 patient and their immediate surroundings
  • After touching or feeding your pets 
  • Before wearing gloves and masks and after removing them 
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You should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds to ensure proper cleaning. The World Health Organisation has given a correct way of washing hands: 

  • Wet your hands with clean water.
  • Apply enough liquid soap to cover all surfaces of your hands. You should not use a soap bar as the germs can easily transmit from the soap.
  • Now rub your right-hand palm with the left-hand palm
  • Rub the back of the left hand with the palm of the right hand, intertwining the fingers. Switch hands and repeat.
  • Bend your fingers, making a ‘C’ shape with both the hands and then interlock both hands. Now wash them in an up and down motion.
  • Clasp the left-hand thumb with the right palm and make a fist around it. Wash it in a rotational rubbing motion. Do the same with the other hand.
  • Rub the palm of right-hand with the left-hand fingers in a rotational movement and repeat the same with the other hand. 
  • Rinse your hands with water and use a tissue to dry your hands.
  • Use the same tissue to turn off the faucet. 
Dr Rahul Gam

Dr Rahul Gam

Infectious Disease
8 Years of Experience

Dr. Arun R

Dr. Arun R

Infectious Disease
5 Years of Experience

Dr. Neha Gupta

Dr. Neha Gupta

Infectious Disease
16 Years of Experience

Dr. Anupama Kumar

Dr. Anupama Kumar

Infectious Disease

Medicines / Products that contain Right way to wash your hands and avoid COVID-19 infection


  1. World Health Organization [Internet]. Geneva (SUI): World Health Organization; Clean hands protect against infection
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