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Alarm as religious zealots fear use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers

The weakest link in the war against coronavirus seems to be some overzealous religious people who are rejecting and abandoning the usage of hand sanitizers, just because they have realized it contains alcohol which their teachings don’t allow them to get in contact with, an Egerton University don has said.
Dr. Mesharck Obonyo said he has witnessed some cases where people refuse to use the sanitizer before entering shops or supermarkets and choose to turn away than abide by the rule of sanitizing before entering.
“Yesterday, l was in a bookshop and an elderly man completely refused to sanitize his hands. The watchman and the shop owner tried to persuade him that it was safe but he remained adamant. Eventually, l stepped in and identified myself as a scientist, but still with all the ethical explanations, he still refused and chose to walk away,” he stated.
He urged the government to bridge such gaps, which may appear minor at the moment but should the pandemic spread, it may rope in other religious people who might even decide to declare the sanitizers ‘evil’ due to their alcohol content.
Dr. Obonyo Dr. Obonyo who was speaking KNA today during an interview in Nakuru town said the best recommended sanitizers by the World Health Organization (WHO) should contain some combination of ethanol of 60 to 90 per cent to make it effective in cleaning microorganisms.
He added that alcohol has been used as an antiseptic since the 13th Century and by sanitizing ones’ hands, it cannot make anybody drunk because the amount used for hand sanitization was negligible.
However, he said for those who cannot afford sanitizers, proper handwashing with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds or the length of time it takes to sing happy birthday, was still effective.
He urged wananchi to also keep their nails short and scrub around the finger tips while washing hands.

By Veronica Bosibori

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