This special issue contains links to key websites as well as studies and reports that discuss the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)–related aspects of COVID-19. With the release of additional funding, to date USAID has committed up to $100 million in financing from the Emergency Reserve Fund for Contagious Infectious-Disease Outbreaks for 25 countries affected by novel coronavirus (COVID-19) or at high risk of its spread.
The COVID-19 virus is transmitted through two main routes: respiratory and contact. No evidence to date suggests that the virus is present in surface or groundwater sources or transmitted through contaminated drinking water. And no evidence to date suggests that the COVID-19 virus has been transmitted via sewerage systems, either with or without treatment.
The provision of safe WASH conditions is essential to protecting human health during all infectious disease outbreaks, including the COVID-19 outbreak. Below are some WASH–related infectious disease prevention and control measures.
- Ensuring good and consistently applied WASH and waste management practices in communities, homes, schools, marketplaces, and health care facilities will further help to prevent human-to-human transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
- Frequent and proper handwashing with soap is one of the most important measures that can be used to prevent infection with the COVID-19 virus. WASH activities aiming to respond to COVID-19 should work to enable handwashing by improving services and facilities and using proven behavior change techniques.
- Reliable water services in health facilities and households are critical to ensuring both sufficient quantities of safe drinking water and the ability to maintain hygiene (including hand hygiene, laundering, cleaning, and disinfection).
Read the complete issue.