Regularly cleaning your phone and washing your hands is a better way to fight the coronavirus spread than wearing a mask, Singapore’s health ministry said on Wednesday (Feb 12) after a homemade advisory by four local doctors urging locals to don masks while in public went viral on WhatsApp,
The advisory, dated Feb 10 andsigned by doctorsColleen Thomas,Judy Chen,Tham Hoe Meng andLim Pin Pin, called for Singaporeans to wear a mask always when leaving home and avoid mingling in public, claiming this could stop community spread of the coronavirus within 2 weeks.
However, the Ministry of Health’sdirector of medical services, Kenneth Mak, said at a press conference on Wednesday (Feb 12) that despite a lot of well-intentioned advice from various quarters,including doctors, there was no evidence that the virus was airborne, making masks an ineffective method of protection.
He added that a more important task was for people to to clean their handphones.
Smartphones are among the dirtiest items a person owns, due to how often they are handled, and the fact that many people bring their phones to the toilet, where faecal matter often collects.
Worse, these phones are often held up to our eyes, nose and lips – key points where the coronavirus infects the human body.
Various scientific studies have found that smartphones contain more germs than toilet seats – meaning a quick and immediate way to limit contamination is to avoid taking your phone to the toilet.
Using an alcohol solution was also effective, the study said, adding thatthe crevice between phones and phone cases contained significantly more bacteria than the screen.
However, antibacterialwipes can be used to clean the phone case.
According to CNet, other items that should not be used to clean a phone include: window cleaner, kitchen cleaner, makeup remover, dish soap, hand soap, and vinegar.