Medical experts from HKU Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine such as Professor Ivan Hung have prepared useful health tips and precaution tips to keep us healthy during the outbreak of COVID-19.

Outbreak precautions: thorough disinfection

Apart from droplets transmission, the new coronavirus can infect us through the conjunctiva in our eyes as well. As means of protection, we recommend putting on glasses to protect your eyes, as well as cleaning your belongings frequently to minimise the chances of getting infected. Professor Ivan Hung, Clinical Professor & Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases of HKUMed, is here today to introduce to everyone proper methods of maintaining the hygiene of personal everyday items.

Question: How should you clean your glasses?

Answer: Clean your glasses while washing your hands. Rub your hands with soap to create foam, and wash your glasses with it. Rinse the glasses with water afterwards.

Question: How should you clean your phone?

Answer: Spray hand sanitiser on a piece of tissue or cleaning cloth and clean the surface of the phone, the case and also the screen protector. Wipe the phone dry with a piece of tissue or cloth.

Question: Should we sanitise other clothing items, such as clothes, jackets, handbag and shoes?

Answer:
◾Jacket: Wipe with wet cloth/ Put a piece of wet cloth on the jacket and iron it with high temperature/ Dry it under the sun.
◾Clothes: If the base or inner layers of clothing under your outerwear are not exposed to environments with an abundance of germs (i.e. clinics, hospitals or kindergartens), the chances of contamination are quite low. Doing laundry daily is recommended.
◾Handbag: Clean it with a piece of wet cloth.
◾Shoes: Take off your shoes before stepping into your home, and spray rubbing alcohol on the sole/ Wash the sole with soap and water/ Place a towel soaked with 1:99 diluted bleach at the entrance and step on it to sanitise your shoes.

Surgical Masks Demyth

Due to the recent outbreak of the coronavirus, surgical masks have been in high demand. "Should I make my own masks if I don't have enough at home?" We have been asked lots of questions regarding surgical masks lately.

Professor Ivan Hung from HKU Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine has prepared a set of Q&As specifically on the use of surgical masks. Check them out below and share with others! Always remember - sharing is caring. Stay alert and vigilant everyone! Stay strong and hang in there, we are all in this together!

Question: Are DIY masks better than nothing at all?

Answer: DIY masks can help reduce the amount of microbes expelled from a cough or a sneeze, but its effectiveness is only 1/3 of a surgical mask. 

Question: Are there any store-bought mask filters or materials that we can use to protect ourselves?

Answer: In short, no - the three layers each have specialised uses and cannot be bought in stores, while filters derived from other household items would obstruct breathing. 

Question: Is it possible to protect yourself with towels?

Answer: Towels and scarves can prevent direct contact of droplets onto your nose and mouth to a limited extent, but are not effective in protecting yourself against the new coronavirus. 

Question: Would wearing multiple masks improve its filtration effectiveness?

Answer: The key to effective filtration is the fit of the mask. Wearing multiple masks will affect its fit and obstruct your breathing. 

Question: Can we sanitise and reuse the masks if you want to extend its lifespan?

Answer: We cannot sanitise and reuse masks. If you want to extend its lifespan, cut a piece of gauze and line the inner part to prevent direct contact of the mask to your mouth and nose.