NHS in Leeds highlights the importance of hand hygiene on Global Handwashing Day 2020

As cases of coronavirus increase in Leeds and further restrictions are implemented, Global Handwashing Day (Thursday 15 October) is a stark reminder that handwashing is vital in preventing the spread of Covid-19 and other illnesses.

The local NHS is urging Leeds residents to practice good hand hygiene in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Washing your hands regularly with soap and water, for 20 seconds, is a simple yet effective way of preventing the spread of the virus. This should, however, be practiced alongside other preventative measures such as social distancing, and wearing a face covering in indoor public spaces.

As winter approaches, handwashing is also essential for avoiding other illnesses that are common this time of year – including colds, flu, and norovirus. Again, thoroughly washing hands with antibacterial soap and water, particularly before eating and after going to the toilet, will reduce the risk of catching winter bugs.

Dr Sarah Forbes, GP and Associate Medical Director for NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Global Handwashing Day aims to raise awareness of the importance of handwashing – a message that is now more important than ever. Good hand hygiene is fundamental in preventing the spread of coronavirus and, along with social distancing and wearing a face covering, can protect the most vulnerable in our community.

“Coronavirus isn’t the only illness that can be avoided with handwashing – it can also help protect us from other unpleasant illnesses such as colds, flu and stomach bugs. We touch countless surfaces when we’re out and about, so always avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Make sure to regularly wash your hands when you’re out, and as soon as you’re home, or use hand sanitiser if soap and water are not readily available.

“The role of hand hygiene in keeping us healthy shouldn’t be underestimated as we head into the colder months. Global Handwashing Day is an opportunity to remind others of the benefits of handwashing, and help prevent the spread of coronavirus in Leeds.”

Learn more about the best way to wash your hands on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/


Notes to editors

Global Handwashing Day 2020 – Hand Hygiene for All:

Find out more about this year’s Global Handwashing Day: https://www.unwater.org/global-handwashing-day-2020-hand-hygiene-for-all/

The latest NHS information and advice about coronavirus:

Visit the NHS website to find out more about how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus, and what to do if you have symptoms: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

For media enquiries please contact:

Issued by the communications team at NHS Leeds CCG. You can contact the team on 0113 84 35528 or 0113 84 35470. Alternatively, please email us: leedsccg.comms@nhs.net