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Q&A: what should I do if there is a case in my neighbourhood?

2020-February-4       Source: Newsgd.com

As an elevator is a small enclosed space, if you take the same elevator as a virus carrier, the virus can be spread through coughing, sneezing and talking.

1. Is there a risk of infection when I take the elevator?

There is risk, but we have measures to deal with it.

As an elevator is a small enclosed space, if you take the same elevator as a virus carrier, the virus can be spread through coughing, sneezing and talking. When droplets of saliva fall on the buttons or wall, they may be spread to the next person through contact. If they then touch their mouth, nose or eyes with their hand, they are at risk of infection.

What about stair handrails, community equipment and other public facilities?

The virus may exist on the surface of these public facilities and be spread through contact.

Keep these three tips in mind: wear a mask, don't touch your face with hands, and wash your hands when you get home.

(Photo: Zhu Hongbo)

2. When there is a confirmed case in the neighbourhood, is it safe to use public toilets?

Yes it is safe, but please take extra care to exercise good hygiene and wash your hands.

Due to the lack of soap in some public toilets across the city, if you can try and carry an alcohol based anti-bacterial hand sanitizer while out in public.

3. Do I need to wash my hair every night? Can the virus be transferred in this manner?

While it is best not to worry too much, any droplets of saliva/mucus containing the virus will no longer be infectious after around one hour outside the body. Nonetheless, if you do suspect you have been in an environment with infected people, it is best to wash your hair before going to bed.

4. Is the garbage used by suspected / confirmed cases in the community infectious?

It's possible, but the odds are very small. The garbage used by virus carriers can only be transmitted to the next person through contact.

So our suggestions are:

Don't touch anything suspicious;

If you must lift the garbage cover when throwing garbage, avoid contact with your skin;

Used masks should be sealed up and disposed of in the hazardous waste bin.

(Photo: Zhu Hongbo)

5. Can I air my quilt/bedsheets when the sun comes out? Is there a risk of contamination?

Don't worry about linens being contaminated in this fashion. Due to the general dryness and heat, as well as ventilation and ultraviolet rays, the activity rate and survival time of the virus will decrease dramatically.

6. Why is it important to keep my room well ventilated?

Ventilation will reduce the concentration of any airborne particles of the virus brought in on hair, skin or clothing.

7. Should I disinfect clothes after coming home?

Generally speaking, as long as you have no direct contact with high risk groups, just change and wash your clothes as usual. If you are really anxious, use a hotter and longer wash cycle than you might normally do.

8. Is there anything else I can use to disinfect clothes?

Tumble driers, at a suitable temperature (56-75 ℃) and time (30-90 minutes);

Dry clothes in the sun for upward of an hour;

60 minutes under an ultraviolet lamp.

Author: Hannah Zhou

Editor: Simon Haywood

Editor: Monica Liu

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