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The importance of handwashing outside the home


With most of the country easing lockdown restrictions and allowing businesses to resume operations, it is important for Filipinos to remember that Covid-19 is still as present and as threatening.

Washing with trusty soap and water, when available, is still the best way to fight Covid-19, and other germs and viruses accumulated in the hands. FREE IMAGE FROM PEXELS.COM

One way to effectively lessen the chance of acquiring it, even as the population slowly adapts to “new normal,” is to use the trusty combination of soap and water.

While it is naturally more convenient to bathe the hand with sanitizer or alcohol when one is outside of home, experts still advice to choose soap and water because of its higher efficiency in killing germs.

US’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reco­mmends “washing with soap and water whenever possible because handwashing reduces the amounts of all types of germs and chemicals on hands.”

CDC furthered, “Although alcohol-based hand sanitizers can inactivate many types of microbes very effectively when used correctly people may not use a large enough volume of the sanitizers or may wipe it off before it has dried.”

Even the World Health Organization, before announcing Covid-19 as pandemic earlier this year, has always recommended proper handwa­shing with soap and water to protect one’s self from protection and potentially save lives.

With this in mind, SM Supermalls — through SM Cares — and Safeguard teamed up to remind the public proper of handwashing through the new campaign #SafeHandsAtSM.

“Through this campaign, we want to influence the handwa­shing habits of Filipinos by encouraging them to adopt a healthy five-step ritual and join us in promoting clean hands especially during this time,” SM Supermalls President Steven Tan said in the virtual launch of the campaign.

These five particular steps are: (1) wash palms; (2) back of hand; (3) in between fingers; (4) fingernails; (5) and thumbs, and keep scrubbing for at least 20 seconds. Afterward, rinse and dry your hands thoroughly.

SM and Safeguard team up to remind the public of proper handwashing using five steps.

The two iconic brands’ joint project in the country also aims to provide tools to execute the life-saving activity even in public places.

Tan proudly noted that Safeguard donated liquid soaps now placed in all of SM’s public restrooms.

“From Tuguegarao down to Caga­yan de Oro and General Santos, all of our 74 malls nationwide will be part of this campaign,” Tan said.

This also meant educational campaign in the forms of pos­ters and banners in all SM public restrooms to remind the five steps of proper handwashing. SM is also actively promoting the initiative on its digital assets.

“As industries reopen, Safeguard realizes the importance of helping create a safe, new normal. By ma­king Safeguard handsoap available in restrooms nationwide at SM, we are helping reinforce proper handwashing behavior even outside of homes,” Procter & Gamble Vice President for Skin and Personal Care Shweta Sharma said also during the virtual launch.

“We believe that by putting consumers health as a priority, we are slowly helping rebuild the nation by regaining consumer trusts as establishments try to get back up,” Sharma reiterated.

In ending, SM also stressed that this partnership with Safeguard forms part of the former’s programs to ensure “Safe Malling,” as all SM malls continue to carry out strict safety and sanitation measures to keep their branches safe, clean, and compliant with health and sanitation protocols over and above government regulations.


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