Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 30 May 2020

Cut your nails and shave your beard? The hygiene advice we should be following during the coronavirus outbreak

There are some extra steps we could be taking to stem the spread of Covid-19

Keeping nails short can help stem the spread of Coronavirus.
Keeping nails short can help stem the spread of Coronavirus.

We’ve all been told the importance of washing our hands thoroughly and regularly to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus, but there are other small hygiene steps we could be taking, according to medical professionals.

In a widely shared social media post, an Australian nurse has stressed the importance of keeping fingernails short during the pandemic, saying that long nails can harbour germs and bacteria beneath them. It is particularly important advice for anyone who bites their nails.

“If you can’t put your fingernails straight down against your other palm without your nails adding too much distance to do it, you cannot wash under your fingernails properly unless you use a nail brush every time,” she said. “Please, during this global emergency, keep your nails short.”

The same advice has been shared on beauty page The Makeup Social.

The advice is being widely shared on social media. The Makeup Social / Facebook
The advice is being widely shared on social media. The Makeup Social / Facebook

Keeping finger nails short is standard practice for medical professionals due to the number of germs that can be spread through long nails, but during a time of a global pandemic, this should be standard practice for everyone.

Around the world, men in the medical profession are shaving off their facial hair to ensure that their personal protective equipment, such as medical standard masks, are properly fitted and not contaminated.

In the UK, a number of NHS trusts are encouraging their staff to remove their facial hair, where possible. The Welsh Ambulance Service has launched a ‘Reach for the Razor’ campaign, led by its chief executive officer Jason Killens, who announced he would be shaving his beard in order to protect his patients, colleagues, friends and family, and encouraged others to do the same.

While there is no such advice as to whether facial hair can increase the risk of coronavirus for non-medical workers, having a beard can increase the want to touch your face, which is advised against to stem the spread of the virus.

Updated: March 27, 2020 04:57 PM

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