It is said that the risk of contagion through hand contact with contaminated objects and surfaces is much higher than the risk of contagion through airborne bacteria, which surgical masks can mitigate.
I do not know if this holds true for the Wuhan virus.
Countless potential victims each day unknowingly pick up germs from grab handles in buses or MRT trains and even lift buttons, where bacteria can stay active for hours.
Hence regular and proper washing of hands amid the Wuhan virus crisis must be the first line of defence for everyone.
In the light of this, government agencies must act immediately to ensure that all schools, public buildings and especially shopping malls have hand-cleansing solutions at water taps to encourage hand washing.
For too long now, I have noticed many shopping malls getting away with toilets that have malfunctioning taps. The wash basins are fitted with oversized water-saving thimbles or badly designed sensors which restrict the flow of water.
If we are to take a total defence approach in tackling the coronavirus threat, we need to look at such details and fix them.
Seah Jin Wah