Cleaning during covid-19 is not about what you clean with
Healthcare Innovation Steam cleaning COVID-19

Killing COVID-19: it’s how you clean it, not what you clean with

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

On Wednesday 13 May, which would actually have been the second Interclean day, Interclean Amsterdam organised the Healthcare Cleaning webinar online. Healthcare expert Professor Didier Pittet shares information about the coronavirus, infection prevention and the role of cleaning.

Background information on COVID-19

After the official opening, Prof. Didier Pittet took the floor. Starting with a brief explanation of COVID-19. For example, it became clear that SARS-CoV-2 was originally a bat virus before it was transmitted from person to person. The big problem with the new coronavirus is that no one has antibodies, there is no medicine and no vaccine. The virus can spread easily, especially through small droplets that you can spread with, for example, coughing, talking or sneezing. Infection can occur through direct contact (if an infected person coughs on you) or indirect contact (if you pick up an infected object with your hands and then touch your face). Hygiene is therefore crucial in the fight against the coronavirus.

COVID-19 is easy to kill and extremely sensitive to cleaning products

The good news soon came: “The virus is easy to kill. It is extremely sensitive to cleaning products. The virus is not resistant. Almost all of the products we use every day to clean up in the healthcare industry can put a stop to the virus, ”says Pittet. From heat, steam or ozone, to UV, alcohol and disinfectants: it all works. For example, there are three hundred different disinfectants that can be used against the corona virus. According to Pittet, it is therefore not a matter of what you clean with, but of how you clean. Do you use the right techniques? Do you use the means as prescribed? Are you doing that at the right time?

Removing (cleaning) the virus versus killing (disinfecting) the virus

Following an audience question, there was another important comment about the means that you can use against the coronavirus: “You do not kill or harm the virus with soap or another cleaning product and water. You take the virus away. It is no longer there. That is often sufficient. If you wash your hands with soap and water, you flush the virus down the sink. It is then no longer on your hands. You only kill the virus with alcohol or other disinfectants. ”

The information epidemic

Since applying the right cleaning techniques is so important in the fight against the coronavirus, education and training is extremely important. It is therefore one of the main focus points of Clean Hospitals. The experts are therefore fully committed to educating society and health workers. Pittet: “The infection prevention measures are very easy, but they have to be taught correctly. With the right education, by the right experts and with the right tools. ”

''Misinformation and fake news are a huge problem in many areas in the fight against COVID-19''

And with emphasis on "the right experts", because Pittet also mentioned the so-called "infodemic". The information epidemic. “We are all dealing with an abundance of information. It is important to realise where that information comes from. ” Are they really experts or are they parties with underlying motives and their own agenda. “Misinformation and fake news are a huge problem in many ways in the fight against COVID-19. So please: think carefully before giving advice. You only speak out if you are really an expert. ”

Tips on coping with stress and worry

Finally, Pittet came up with some tips on how to deal with employees. It is a stressful situation for everyone, and especially for people who work in healthcare. It is therefore important to deal well with the stress and concerns of others. Therefore, ensure:

• Good training and information
• Clear protocols
• Direct communication
• Quality control
• Constructive feedback

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