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Centre recommends foot operated wash basins as corona cases spread to slums

Install foot-operated makeshift wash basins, always wear a face cover and footwear inside a community toilet, switch on the fan and open windows to ventilate shared room – these are a new set of guidelines for overcrowded areas to check the spread of Covid-19.

Install foot-operated makeshift wash basins, always wear a face cover and footwear inside a community toilet, switch on the fan and open windows to ventilate shared room – these are a new set of guidelines for overcrowded areas to check the spread of Covid-19. As crowded slum areas in Delhi, Mumbai and other Metros are reporting Covid-19 cases, the office of principal scientific adviser K Vijay Raghavan has issued fresh guidelines for hygiene and sanitation in densely populated areas.

The guidelines stress on the need of prevention and early detection. The guidelines lay down that any person who might even be under lockdown but develops symptoms like dry cough and very high fever should report immediately to the nearest ASHA worker. The biggest problem of handwashing has been addressed. The guidelines prescribe foot operated handwashing mechanism. This basic mechanism can easily be made from a big plastic container like an empty 15-litre oil container installed outside the house. With simple diagrams the guidelines have shown how a bar of soap can be suspended on a small string and used for handwashing in this foot operated makeshift system. At the same time municipal authorities have been asked to popularise this mechanism and wherever possible install readymade foot operated wash basins outside community toilets.

The maintenance of community toilet hygiene has been a cause of worry. The highly infectious virus – SARS-CoV-2 – spreads through droplets. The guidelines now prescribe that the local bodies need to ensure toilets remain clean and proper circles are marked for people to stand in a queue to follow social distancing norms. A source told ET, “Basic sense of hygiene in slum areas is low. This is why toilet use remains a very big area of concern.” The government is planning to run awareness campaigns to show the correct use of toilets – like not go inside a community toilet barefeet and always use face cover while using it. Short videos on how to make a homemade mask from a cotton saree or cloth and wash and dry it would also be released by the government.

The guidelines have come at a time when huge slum clusters like Dharavi in Mumbai, Rangpuri Pahadi and Sangam Vihar in Delhi have reported Covid cases. What has been alarming is that these do not have travel history or specific traceable contact history. The surveillance teams have traced contacts to ensure the families of positive cases are quarantined.

Source : Economics Times

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Corona Newsline Supported by LiiFii Research Foundation.