New Covid Strain In The UK, How Hand Hygiene Can Keep You Safe
New Covid Strain In The UK, How Hand Hygiene Can Keep You Safe
Mid-December of 2020, news broke out about a new strain of Covid-19 being detected in the UK.
Despite the emergence and rapid distribution of vaccines, people from around the world are worried about what this new strain can mean for them.
Does this mean a longer battle with the Coronavirus? Does this mean the current vaccine will not be effective against the new strain?
Let’s find out.
England Is In Strict Lockdown
The new strain of Covid-19 in England is spreading faster than the original version of the virus.
Matt Hancock, UK’s Health Secretary reported that there are already more than 1,000 cases of this new variant of Covid-19. This new strain of Covid-19 has been identified in the South of England and noted to be “increasing rapidly”.
While the Public Health England has been continuing its analysis on the worrisome situation, the World Health Organization has been alerted of the matter.
Flights From The UK Are Banned
On December 19, the UK announced its lockdown which meant that more than 40 countries in Europe, South America, Asia, The Caribbean, and the Middle East have restrained travel coming from the UK.
Despite this decisive measure, Denmark, Australia, the Netherlands, Singapore, and South Africa have reported identifying this new variant in their area.
In Germany and the Netherlands, a lockdown has been put in place until January.
Italy also arranged for a nationwide lockdown until New Years'. The country has identified itself to be in “the red-zone” which means non-essential shops like bars and restaurants will be closed but travel will be allowed depending on the reason provided.
Sweden has now put precaution in place by recommending the use of facemasks when riding public transportation especially on rush hours where there’s high traffic of passengers, limiting the distance each person can have from another.
Austria is planning to impose another lockdown after Christmas, which will mean their third. A day after Christmas, people won’t be allowed to go out of their homes for unessential reasons. To strengthen this precaution, non-essential shops will be closed.
What Is Different About The New Covid-19 Strain?
As more countries close borders for travelers coming from the UK, scientists are also in a rush to gauge how severe dangers have come with this new variant.
RNA viruses like the new strain of Covid-19 mutate naturally and can come with genetic variations which make them more effective in infecting our cells.
Despite initial findings, scientists from all over the world modestly say there’s more research to be done before they can assess the gravity of its impact.
Is The New Covid-19 Strain In The UK More Harmful?
Upon the initial study, the British Government was told by virologists and epidemiologists that the new strain shows indications that it is more contagious than the original version.
However, it’s still too early to tell if the new Covid-19 strain makes the disease more critical.
Still, BioNTech’s chief executive, Ugur Sahin says, “if the virus becomes more efficient in infecting people, we might need a higher vaccination rate”. He says this is needed so that the daily activities of people can continue without the risk of catching the disease.
Even Prof Chris Witty, England’s chief medical officer says this mutation is “going to make things a lot worse”.
What Does a “New Strain” Of The Coronavirus Mean?
There is still no definite metric to define a new strain of the Coronavirus means.
Generally, though, it can mean any of these two things:
- Its spread pattern is different
- Its behavior when it interacts with your different immune system
But why can scientists say there is a new strain of Covid-19?
This is because they consistently sequence the genetic material to detect any changes.
What Can The New Coronavirus Strain Mean For Your Safety?
Since there’s no telling yet about how severe this new strain is, vigilance and constantly applying precautions are the best things you can do.
If you can’t control the virus, control how much you can keep yourself safe.
The common precautions include wearing protective equipment like face masks and face shields, especially in crowded areas.
It’s better if you avoid those places altogether but if the circumstance doesn’t allow you to do so, wearing protective equipment is the next best thing.
But try as we may, we can unknowingly touch our faces especially when it itches somewhere or if the mask is in an uncomfortable position.
How can you be safe from the new strain of the coronavirus in this case?
Hand hygiene will keep you as safe as possible.
Keeping your hands clean is one way to ensure you kill viruses that came into your hands when you held publicly touched surfaces like door handles and doorknobs.
Bring a sanitizer spray in your bag perhaps?
While this is a good precaution, putting your hands in your bag while fumbling for your sanitizer can mean touching other items in your bag where the viruses can stick to. This means you risk getting the virus again from inside your bag.
It’s way better to utilize touch-free hand sanitizer dispensers you can find positioned in high-traffic areas you pass by.
This way, you won’t needlessly transfer the virus into your other stuff and risk catching the virus from there.
Hotels, airports, malls, spas, salons, churches, and all other public places now have these touchless hand sanitizer dispensers stationed where you usually pass by. Taking advantage of these sanitizer stations can make you one step safer from Covid-19.
You don’t even have to touch them because by simply placing your hand under the touchless hand sanitizer dispenser, the sensor can detect your hand which moves it to dispense the needed amount of sanitizer in your hand.
If you’re a business owner, having this touchless hand sanitizer dispenser in your workplace doesn’t just keep you safe but your employees and your clients as well.
Sensing your concern for their safety, employees will be moved to be more productive while lessening their chances of taking absences because of getting sick.
It can also mean clients will have a comfortable and peace of mind inducing place to do business in.
Keep yourself and the people around you safe by giving high attention to hand hygiene.