Photo has been used for illustrative purposes. Reuters
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
As the world becomes constricted with the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID19), a March 2020 research on “handwashing culture” has revealed that six of the Top 11 countries battered by the mysterious animal-to-human transmitted disease are those which rarely practise hand hygiene after toilet use.
As of 10:48 GMT of March 26 (Thursday), the Top 11, based on World Health Organisation (WHO) registered cases were China (81,285), Italy (74,386), USA (68,581), Spain (56,188), Germany (39,457), Iran (29,406), France (25,233), Switzerland (11,125), UK (9,529), South Korea (9,241), and The Netherlands (6,412).
The 63-country 64,002-interviewee study is “The Impact of Cross-Cultural Differences in Handwashing Pattern on the COVID19 Outbreak Magnitude.”
Researcher-authors are University of Birmingham (UoB-UK) Behavioural Economics and Data Science Prof. Ganna Progebna and TEC Engineering (USA) director Eng. Alexander Kharlamov.
They considered the differences of hand hygiene practices across the world due to several factors such as orientations/customs and infrastructure.
Email interviewed, Progebna said they wanted to know “why the virus spreads quicker in some countries than others (and in light of the fact that) travel ban has not generally been effective in containing (it).”
The study was undertaken as WHO and other similar bodies have been aggressively campaigning for hand hygiene as the main battle gear against COVID19 inasmuch as a vaccine has yet to be the regimen and remedy.
The study showed that the countries that rarely wash hands with soap after toilet use are China (77 per cent), Japan (70 per cent), South Korea (61 percent), Netherlands (50 per cent), Thailand (48 per cent), Kenya (48 per cent), Italy (43 per cent), UK (25 per cent), and USA (23 per cent).
Saudi Arabia is the most conscious followed by Bosnia and Herzegovina at four per cent (185 COVID-19 cases).
The researchers analysed the 2015 international survey by three international organisations led by BVA France Sarl that asked the respondents to agree or disagree on the statement “Washing your hands with soap and water after using a toilet is something you do automatically.”
Progebna commented: “While many factors may have contributed to the current differences in the new coronavirus spread around the globe, we show that handwashing culture alone is an important factor allowing us to understand much about the currently observed heterogeneity in the outbreak magnitude.”
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