OPEN Environmental health perspectives | 23 May 2020
M Brauer, JT Zhao, FB Bennitt and JD Stanaway
Low-income countries have reduced health care system capacity and are therefore at risk of substantially higher COVID-19 case fatality rates than those currently seen in high-income countries. Handwashing is a key component of guidance to reduce transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior systematic reviews have indicated the effectiveness of handwashing to reduce transmission of respiratory viruses. In low-income countries, reduction of transmission is of paramount importance, but social distancing is challenged by high population densities and access to handwashing facilities with soap and water is limited.
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