WHO: Handshake can spread coronavirus, do these gestures instead

  • PublishedMarch 13, 2020

Shaking hands is a common African practice. In fact when Kenya’s two political nemeses put their political affiliations aside and became friends, the action was sentimentally dubbed ‘The handshake’. Refusing to shake a stretched hand in the Kenyan society is the ultimate act of disdain, and you will get told for it.

In light of the new Coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19, the practice of shaking hands will just have to go. According to World Health Organization, respiratory viruses can be passed through shaking of hands and touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

It recommends, instead, that you do the following:

Touch elbows

Avoid unnecessary contact with others to protect yourself from #coronavirus/#COVID19, particularly with hands.

When greeting others, consider the following gestures instead of a handshake:
Touching elbows🙋🏿 pic.twitter.com/cT2MW5lGjC

— WHO African Region (@WHOAFRO) March 12, 2020

WHO also recommends the following measures against the spread of the virus:

Wash your hands with soap and water as often as possible
Do not touch your face
Cough/ sneeze into your elbow or in a tissue and discard it
Avoid people who are coughing/sneezing or exhibit flu-like symptoms
Visit the doctor if you exhibit flu-like symptoms 

Also read: African countries with confirmed coronavirus cases 

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