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COVID-19: Cover toilet before flushing to control the virus, microbiologist tells Kenyans

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The threat of the coronavirus pandemic requires improved habits of hygiene and adoption of other essential habits such as covering the toilet before flushing, which unfortunately is not a common habit among locals, who have never understood the function of the toilet cover.

A microbiologist, Dr. Meshack Obonyo, said the habit of flushing toilets before covering it was risky at this time because of aerosols — those tiny droplets– of water that are sprayed out into the air would easily spread the virus if the user has acquired it.

“The habit of covering a toilet before flushing it may seem trivial but once you realize that only 15,000 people out of 47 million have been tested, it should jolt you to the fact that the known cases are far below the known,” Dr. Obonyo.

He said toileting habits are taught at the ages of two to three, however, since most parents grew up without flushing toilets, they hardly impress on their children just how important it is to cover toilet seats before flushing.

Apart from preventing the aerosols from spraying into the air, he said covering before flushing also limits the faeces and urine smell from spreading all over.

However, he said those who share public or Indian type of toilets could also prevent the spread of the disease, in case they are sick, by sprinkling some detergent before flushing.

He added that regular cleaning of points of contact such as handles, seats and knobs for flushing was extremely important and at all times the entire area should be dry, and any leakages should be repaired without delay.

Dr. Obonyo urged the county governments to up their game by fixing any sewerage leakages and overflows immediately and supply adequate clean water constantly.


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