PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Global Handwashing Day, recognized on October 15th is dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the
importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.1
This year’s theme “Hand Hygiene for All” seeks to raise awareness of making soap and water available globally, especially in public places,
schools, and health care facilities.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “regular handwashing is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid
getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others”.2 Many germsthat can make someone else sick, are transmitted when proper hand hygiene is not practiced. That is why handwashing is so important; especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose, before eating, when preparing foods and after using the bathroom.
One of the most effective ways to stop or decrease the spread of the COVID-19 virus, is as simple as washing your hands with soap and
clean running water on a frequent basis. Just twenty seconds of scrubbing with water and soap, or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer,
can wash away the novel coronavirus. 3
Minister Panneflek expressed that one of the best steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading COVID-19 to others during this time is handwashing. This simple step can save a life.