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Horror that could lurk beneath hand operated washing units at premises

Relevant local and international authorities and private sector have been carrying out countless informative messages to instilling the critical need to maintain hand hygiene wherever people meet and touch surfaces in order to prevent spreading of COVID 19. Despite efforts made to educate the public on this critical hygiene practice, it is disheartening to see some premises such as restaurants not paying adequate attention to detail with regard to realizing the core objective of maintaining hand hygiene.

An established protocol with clearly defined roles, responsibilities and accountabilities for the critical procedure of hand washing is in place. Yet, I was very disappointed and disgusted to notice how careless some users are with the conventional sink based washing facilities. It is a classic example that illustrates how some premises are opting for rapidly scaled up solutions purely to show case that the procedure is in place, rather than focusing on actual fulfillment of the objective of this critical hygiene practice.

However, it is relieving to see installations of simple foot pedal operated sinks being used for this purpose as it seems a promising solution to minimize the risk of human-to-human trans- mission of this deadly disease. Although the self-closing taps come out as a smart solution, they may not be affordable to many. Further, they may not be suitable for public places as some users who have never experienced them will forcibly try to operate them leading to breakage. For the same reason, elbow operated tap fitted sinks too may it be the ideal solution for public places. Therefore, the pedal operated sinks seem to have a simple solution to prevent physical touching of a tap. Additionally, it saves gallons of water compared to a hand operated tap. Particularly due the fact that one has to rinse the tap after washing hands, the users tend to let the tap run throughout. Moreover, not every user will follow up with painstaking washing of the tap after washing the hands.

Therefore, it is crucial that allocation of budgets and choosing the best suited washing facility needs to be done with careful consideration. Further, not every user will be able to use both hands to operate a conventional sink. Accordingly, entrances to public transportation stations, camps, apartment complexes, markets, health care facilities, schools, places of worship, restau- rants, eateries, supermarkets, etc. should be equipped with hand washing stations that limit the risk of cross-contamination through touch. Therefore, foot pedal-operated sinks which are locally manufactured will be a sustainable solution. Economical solutions, well adapted to the local context will certainly be appropriate for multiple users while providing a pleasant and convenient user experience for all users alike.



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