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COVID-19

Avoid touching your face after using ATM machines

May 10, 2021 12:35 pm

Fijians should avoid touching their face and learn to wash and sanitize their hands after touching surfaces such as Automated Teller Machines.

A physician with special interests in infectious disease at the CWM Hospital in Suva, Dr Ravi Naidu says there has been a lot of talk around fomites when COVID-19 first hit.

Fomites is any inanimate object that, when contaminated with or exposed to infectious agents, can transfer disease to a new host.

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“That means surfaces where the virus can dwell. So when you touch something and you touch your face then you can have the virus. So similarly someone sneezes or touches the ATM which is infected, there’s a risk but a very low risk as compared to being in a crowded space with somebody who is coughing.”

Dr Naidu says the virus can actively infect a person through the nose or the mouth.

He adds in some countries people have resorted to using other means rather than pressing on buttons of an ATM machine.

“They use like keys or pen to press the buttons so there’s no contact with them. So these are the little things they can do but the basic principle is don’t touch your face and wash your hands frequently that’s the main thing.”

The Health Ministry earlier advised people to practice social distancing while waiting in line, wear a mask and sanitize their hands frequently.

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