This page will be updated periodically with news, resources and research related to WASH and COVID-19.
April 3, 2020 Updates
Understanding hygiene promotion in the context of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak: UNICEF guidance note, March 2020. This note provides guidance on which aspects to consider when planning and implementing a hygiene promotion campaign as part of a broader risk communication and community engagement strategy.
Incorporating nudges into COVID-19 communication and prevention strategies. By Julia Rosenbaum, USAID WASHPaLS Project (FHI 360), March 2020. Global Handwashing Partnership Blog, March 2020. Nudges are physical cues that influence people to behave in a certain way, without particular messaging or promotion of any behavior.
Covid-19: why is hand washing so effective? The Guardian, April 1, 2020. With scientists still racing to find treatments for Covid-19, Nicola Davis speaks with Prof Pall Thordarson about why soap is so effective at deactivating Sars-CoV-2 and how this differs from hand sanitizer.
Coronavirus global health emergency. UN Water – This page brings together water and sanitation-related information from UN-Water Members and Partners in the light of the coronavirus global emergency.
COVID-19 resources. Wash’EM – Webinars, guides, videos, etc.
USAID Globalwaters.org – Publications, newsletters and reports on hygiene, handwashing and other issues related to disease prevention and control.
This special issue contains links to key websites as well as studies and reports that discuss the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)–related aspects of COVID-19. With the release of additional funding, to date USAID has committed up to $100 million in financing from the Emergency Reserve Fund for Contagious Infectious-Disease Outbreaks for 25 countries affected by novel coronavirus (COVID-19) or at high risk of its spread.
The COVID-19 virus is transmitted through two main routes: respiratory and contact. No evidence to date suggests that the virus is present in surface or groundwater sources or transmitted through contaminated drinking water. And no evidence to date suggests that the COVID-19 virus has been transmitted via sewerage systems, either with or without treatment.
The provision of safe WASH conditions is essential to protecting human health during all infectious disease outbreaks, including the COVID-19 outbreak. Below are some WASH–related infectious disease prevention and control measures.
- Ensuring good and consistently applied WASH and waste management practices in communities, homes, schools, marketplaces, and health care facilities will further help to prevent human-to-human transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
- Frequent and proper handwashing with soap is one of the most important measures that can be used to prevent infection with the COVID-19 virus. WASH activities aiming to respond to COVID-19 should work to enable handwashing by improving services and facilities and using proven behavior change techniques.
- Reliable water services in health facilities and households are critical to ensuring both sufficient quantities of safe drinking water and the ability to maintain hygiene (including hand hygiene, laundering, cleaning, and disinfection).
Read the complete issue.