CAN THE WORLD AFFORD TO KEEP WASHING HANDS TO CURB THE CORONA VIRUS PANDEMIC?

It is a well-known fact that basic hygiene and social distancing to an extent will help curb or slow down the spread of corona virus. While social distancing is a way of life and doesn’t depend on anything else, to practice basic hygiene we people need certain commodities or systems in place. One of the first items in the list is water. Water is one of the basic needs but unfortunately it is not available in abundance for all of us. With a good portion of the globe already struggling to meet existing water demands, would an increased emphasis on washing hands and self-add to the stress of governments across the globe. Looks like it has!

Regions like the Arab gulf where water is not easily available are struggling to provide additional water supply to let people wash their hands frequently. Also, some African countries like Ethiopia are not able to cope up with this additional stress on water. In the Asian continent, one of the biggest nations India where water plays a delicate but important role not just in the agriculture but also politics is doing its best in meeting the demand but in these hot summer months that is not easy and 100%. cooking-hands-handwashing-health-545013.jpg

A survey highlights that the world would need to supply additional 9% water to meet the hygiene standards expected during covid 19 period. This would also mean the water being used now is being borrowed from what was saved for future and hence the impact of the virus would not just go away with the finding of a vaccine. The hygiene standard that the world would be used to by the end of the pandemic would require excess water and hence new ways need to be found to conserve more water.

Even before the pandemic several such initiatives were underway in some of the nations. India has set up its own board ‘Jalshakti’ to help the state governments tackle water needs better. Africa is putting up increased effort in accessing data related to water table across the continent and on real time basis. Such real time information can help the continent plan and support its citizens better. Other countries like Israel have been revolutionary in attending to its water needs. We will need more such efforts to meet the needs of the globe and help humanity in its race for survival against unknown danger like the SARS coV-2.

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