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Water, sanitation, hygiene, and waste management for the COVID-19 virus

This interim guidance supplements the infection prevention and control (IPC) documents by summarizing WHO guidance on water, sanitation and health-care waste relevant to viruses, including coronaviruses. It is intended for water and sanitation practitioners and providers, and health-care providers who want to know more about water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) risks and practices.

The guidance includes background information on the COVID-19 virus, recommendations for WASH in health care settings, and considerations for WASH practices in homes.
and communities.

The key messages of this guidance are: 

  1. Frequent and correct hand hygiene is one of the most important measures to prevent infection with the COVID-19 virus. WASH practitioners should work to enable more frequent and regular hand hygiene by improving access to hand hygiene facilities and using multimodal approaches (refer to Hand hygiene practices) to support good hand hygiene behaviour. Performing hand hygiene at the right time, using the right technique with either alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water is critical.
  2. Existing WHO guidance on the safe management of drinking-water and sanitation services applies to the COVID-19 outbreak. Water disinfection and sanitation treatment can reduce viruses. Sanitation workers should have proper training and access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and in many scenarios, a specific combination of PPE elements is recommended.
  3. Many health co-benefits can be realized by safely managing water and sanitation services, and by applying good hygiene practices. 
TitleWater, sanitation, hygiene, and waste management for the COVID-19 virus
Publication TypeBriefing Note
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsWHO, UNICEF
Edition1st update
Pagination9 p.
Date Published04/2020
PublisherWorld Health Organization
Place PublishedGeneva, Switzerland
Publication LanguageEnglish
Other NumbersWHO/2019-nCoV/IPC_WASH/2020.3
Abstract

This interim guidance supplements the infection prevention and control (IPC) documents by summarizing WHO guidance on water, sanitation and health-care waste relevant to viruses, including coronaviruses. It is intended for water and sanitation practitioners and providers, and health-care providers who want to know more about water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) risks and practices.

The guidance includes background information on the COVID-19 virus, recommendations for WASH in health care settings, and considerations for WASH practices in homes.
and communities.

The key messages of this guidance are: 

  1. Frequent and correct hand hygiene is one of the most important measures to prevent infection with the COVID-19 virus. WASH practitioners should work to enable more frequent and regular hand hygiene by improving access to hand hygiene facilities and using multimodal approaches (refer to Hand hygiene practices) to support good hand hygiene behaviour. Performing hand hygiene at the right time, using the right technique with either alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water is critical.
  2. Existing WHO guidance on the safe management of drinking-water and sanitation services applies to the COVID-19 outbreak. Water disinfection and sanitation treatment can reduce viruses. Sanitation workers should have proper training and access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and in many scenarios, a specific combination of PPE elements is recommended.
  3. Many health co-benefits can be realized by safely managing water and sanitation services, and by applying good hygiene practices. 
Notes

Includes 50 ref.

URLhttps://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/331846/WHO-2019-nCoV-IPC_WASH-2020.3-eng.pdf
Citation Key86809