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Water, sanitation, hygiene, and waste management for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, Interim guidance (29 July 2020)

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Water, sanitation, hygiene, and waste management for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, Interim guidance (29 July 2020)

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Background

This interim guidance supplements the infection prevention and control (IPC) documents by summarizing WHO guidance on water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH) and waste management relevant to viruses, including coronaviruses. This document is an update to the interim guidance document entitled ‘Water, sanitation, hygiene, and waste management for the COVID-19 virus’, published on 23 March 2020. It is intended for water and sanitation practitioners and providers, and health-care providers who want to know more about WASH and waste risks and practices in relation to COVID19.

The provision of safe water, sanitation and waste management and hygienic conditions is essential for preventing and for protecting human health during all infectious disease outbreaks, including of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Ensuring evidenced-based and consistently applied WASH and waste management practices in communities, homes, schools, marketplaces, and healthcare facilities will help prevent human-to-human transmission of pathogens including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

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This guidance was originally published in March 2020. This third edition provides additional details on risks associated with excreta and untreated sewage, hand hygiene, protecting WASH workers and supporting the continuation and strengthening of WASH services, especially in underserved areas. This additional information has been prepared in response to questions that the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have received about the prevention and control of COVID19 in settings where WASH services are limited.

The most important information concerning WASH and the SARS-CoV-2 is summarized here.

• Frequent and correct hand hygiene is one of the most important measures to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2. WASH practitioners should work to enable, inform and motivate more frequent and regular […]

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