‘Embrace new methods of greeting’

Health officials have once again called on people to adopt new methods of greeting that do not involve shaking hands in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Instead, people must be now accustomed to elbow taps, foot taps, fist bumps and other signs as they go about greeting each other.

“We must develop a new culture of not shaking hands when greeting because you can exchange the virus. Please make sure you do not shake hands,” urged Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr John Mangwiro said recently in Bulawayo.

The human hand is a carrier of bacteria, viruses, germs, which can be spread to other parts of the body should one touch their face and other people, said the deputy minister.

“Also avoid touching your face because as you pick your noise you are actually squeezing the virus into your nostrils and it would be very happy because the distance it would travel to your sinuses would be much shorter. Also as you touch your eyes, the virus goes into your body,” he said.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) also urged people to avoid shaking hands to help protect oneself and others from Covid-19.

“Respiratory viruses can be passed by shaking hands and touching your eyes, nose and or mouth. Greet people with a wave nod or bow instead,” WHO said.

Dr Mangwiro added that people must continue washing hands.

“When you move around, when you arrive home, before you eat, wash your hands with running water and soap. Preferably use warm water because this virus consists of fat around it and protein inside,” he said.

“So soap and sanitisers will help destroy the virus’ encasing and will not infect you. Make sure you wash hands as you move around and after touching anything. You may have touched something where the virus was so before you eat a banana or an orange please wash hands so you don’t swallow this virus.”

He added this was why people must stay at home where there are less chances to catch coronavirus.

“This is very important, people who do not have business in town, stay at home please, if you can. You can just go to town to touch a kombi bar that would give the virus, if you are at home you are safer,” said the deputy minister of health.

As of October 5, 2020, Zimbabwe has now recorded 7 898 confirmed Covid-19 cases, 6 424 recoveries and 228 deaths.

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