Hands Face Space campaign to stem the tide of infections

A new campaign has been launched to encourage people to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

The “Hands Face Space” campaign urges people to ensure they have washed their hands, used a mask where appropriate and maintain social distancing.

The campaign states that these are the three most effective ways the public can contain the spread of the virus.

It comes after experts have voiced concerns that people are becoming “relaxed” following a spike in infections.

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA Graphics)

And Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned of the possibility of a second peak of Covid-19 as he said that the virus was “still a threat”.

The advert highlights how the virus spreads in indoor setting – which is particularly pertinent as winter approaches.

England’s chief medical officer professor Chris Whitty said: “As we approach winter and inevitably spend more time indoors, we need the public to keep following this important advice to control the spread of the virus.

“‘Hands. Face. Space’ emphasises important elements of the guidance we want everybody to remember: wash your hands regularly, use a face covering when social distancing is not possible and try to keep your distance from those not in your household.

“Following these simple steps could make a significant difference in reducing the transmission of Covid-19 and help protect you and your friends, colleagues and family from the virus.”

The campaign highlights how the novel coronavirus can live for more than 24 hours in indoor environments – it is not likely to survive for long periods of time on outdoor surfaces in sunlight. Regular hand washing and the use of hand sanitiser can also help reduce a person’s risk of catching the virus and passing it on.

It demonstrates how people’s respiratory droplets can spread and how wearing a mask can reduce dispersal of droplets.

And it shows how maintaining a safe distance means the virus is less likely to be transmitted.

Professor Catherine Noakes, member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) – who specialises in airborne infections, said: “Coronavirus is emitted in tiny droplets when we breathe, talk, laugh or cough. Other people can be exposed to these when they are close to someone with the virus or they are in a poorly ventilated room for a long time.

“Wearing a face covering prevents most of these droplets from being released into the air, and can also reduce the number of droplets that you are exposed to.

“That is why wearing a face covering serves as a vital first line of defence against catching and spreading the virus, along with regular and thorough hand-washing with soap and water and maintaining a safe distance wherever possible.”

The campaign reminds people to ensure they get advice and a free test if they have any of the main coronavirus symptoms – a fever, a new continuous cough or a loss or change in their sense of smell of taste.

A Cambridge professor has suggested two extra pieces of guidance.

Dr Shaun Fitzgerald FREng, Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor at the University of Cambridge, said: “My two extra ones are number one, don’t talk loudly; and crucially number two, open a window.

“This last one is very important because we haven’t really had to think about that in warm weather as we will have wanted to get air into our space to keep cool.

“Now that we enter colder weather, it will be something we will need to think about more proactively.”

– People can access a free test by visiting nhs.uk or calling 119.

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