Is Wearing Gloves One Of The Ways To Prevent Coronavirus Infection?

Answered by: Dr Sri Viknarajan
Updated on: May 10, 2020

Question:
Hello, I would like to ask about the use of gloves when shopping during this COVID-19 outbreak. I noticed that the general public was using gloves when buying household goods at the supermarket. Will the use of these gloves prevent a person from being infected with the COVID-19 virus or will this habit cause more infections.
Answer:
Thank you for the question. I've also noticed that the habit of using gloves when shopping is becoming more and more common among the general public. According to the guidelines, the use of gloves is reserved for medical practitioners and the general public is not required to wear it when in public. In fact, this kind of behavior can be detrimental to our existing situation. Let's Learn More Through This Article.

Since the world has been shaken by numerous statistics of deaths and positive cases of COVID-19 outbreak, many individuals from global populations start to purchase their own protective outfits or infact create it themselves. Amazingly, there are few people who start to be creative by using trash plastics and alter them into their own protective wear. There are fashion designers who grab the opportunity to create protective suits. Apart from the protective suits, face masks, goggles, and gloves are also the protective components that have been selling like hot pancakes. In general, everyone knows that facemasks play a crucial role in protecting ourselves from contracting the virus. Nevertheless, is it necessary to wear gloves to protect ourselves from the virus? 

Scientists and researchers have identified that wearing gloves do not play an effective role in preventing disease spread. In fact, it may lead to worsening of the situation. This article will enlighten you further especially in terms of medical perspective regarding this issue.

The habit of using gloves especially during grocery shopping amongst individuals can be very worrying. Gloves can serve as a medium for the virus to transfer from one place to another. For instance, one can use the gloves to touch various surfaces such as doorknob, stroller, car keys and many more. Then, the same gloves are used to touch surfaces whilst purchasing grocery items. 

Touching surfaces can do no harm if the objects are free from the virus. Things will get complicated if the surface has been contaminated with the virus. Indirectly, the virus will be spread to various surfaces by wearing the same gloves. The key to preventing disease spread is by practicing regular hand hygiene. Use hand sanitizers that have been prepared in many common areas. This step is more effective than using gloves. In addition to that, the most worrying fact is many people may accidentally alter the position of their facemask whilst wearing gloves. Touching their faces with the contaminated gloves will definitely increase their likelihood of contracting with the disease.

The usage of gloves is a standard procedure in the medical field. It is commonly used during venipuncture, surgeries and many more. It serves as protective measures to avoid being exposed to human body fluid such as blood. The disposal of gloves has to follow strict protocols to avoid contamination of other neighbouring objects. The disposal bin of gloves can be found in healthcare settings. In public areas, most individuals dispos the gloves in a common trash bin and some people just abandon them anywhere leaving them scattered around.

As stated by the Ministry of health in Malaysia, the standard preventive measures include regular hand hygiene using water and soap or hand sanitizer. These methods are proven to be the most effective way of preventing disease transmission. People are convinced that wearing gloves can prevent them from touching contaminated surfaces directly. Hence, with such confidence, they have decided to not wash their hands. How sure are we that the virus is not there or dead? The answer is no, it is not dead and the virus is still there. If this bad habit persists, it will create a bad consequence as people will start to feel lazy to wash their hands. 

In a nutshell, wearing gloves is not a standard preventive measure of COVID-19 transmission unless you are a healthcare professional. Remember that the key to prevention is as easy as frequent hand washing before and after touching objects in public areas. As mentioned above, wearing gloves is never a recommended precaution to prevent disease transmission.



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