The current COVID-19 pandemic is one of humankind's most disruptive events in the last century. It has led to a considerable loss of human life across the globe and put forth an unprecedented challenge for governments and administration in public health, food supply, and most importantly, the economy. The economic disruption caused by this pandemic is grave, causing tens of millions of people are at risk of falling into extreme poverty with the loss of livelihood. Simultaneously, the social condition worsens for several marginalized communities, with the number of undernourished people around 690 million in 2019, which may increase by up to 132 million by the end of this year. Many countries are still facing a surge in cases while battling the existing active cases, and the economy, though back on track somehow, is still likely to face challenges in the coming months.
The vaccine development is still underway, with over 140 companies trying their best to roll it out as soon as possible. However, with the requirement of robust candidate testing and identifying the vaccine's effectiveness in longer will still take some time. Till then, the global community must learn to live the COVID-19 around without putting any further burden on the economy. Living with COVID-19 without further aggravating the transmission rate depends on everyone's compliance with current preventive measures such as using face masks in public places, maintaining social distancing, regularly washing hands and cleaning surfaces with disinfectants, and testing, and self-isolation.
Hygiene: A Pre-COVID-19 Scenario
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines hygiene as the concept of cleaning and any practice to maintain health and prevent the spread of diseases. Such practice can be washing your hands, taking a shower, keeping your kitchen clean, and sometimes disinfect after cleaning. The most important benefit of practicing hygiene is reducing the transmission of disease and improved community health. Cleaning and washing with soap are considered as one of the most cost-effective health interventions. Washing hands washing with soap or cleaning them with a disinfectant solution at critical moments, such as after visiting a toilet, before cooking, and after helping a child defecate, can significantly prevent infectious diseases by interrupting the transmission of pathogens or viruses.
According to UNICEF, around 2.4 billion people do not use improved sanitation, and 663 million do not have access to improved water sources. Over 800 children die from preventable diseases caused by dirty water and a lack of sanitation and hygiene every day.
Transmission and Spread of the Evident Lack of Hygienic Practices
In its recent guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting the household and areas of public gathering, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that there is much to learn about the causes of COVID-19. Based on the current findings known about COVID-19, the spread from person-to-person of this virus happens most frequently through close contacts (within about 6 feet). The person-to-person transmission occurs via respiratory droplets. On the other hand, the transmission of novel COVID-19 to persons also happens through the surfaces contaminated with the virus.
Transmission of COVID-19 occurs from the respiratory droplets contaminated with virus settled on the objects and surfaces such as doorknobs, countertops, keyboards, toys, etc. In addition to this, the present evidence suggests that COVID-19 may remain active for a few days on the surface of such objects depending upon the variety of materials. With the following months of the pandemic's rise, significant emphasis was given to personal hygiene. The magnitude of Covid-19 made people notice the need to adopt personal and community hygiene practices.
Cleaning and Disinfecting: A Way Ahead for Unlock
As discussed earlier, viruses such as the novel COVID-19 can be spread by hand through contact with the contaminated surfaces. Most people often touch their face, nose, and/or mouth thousands of times a day. Considering the same, an important way to prevent such transmission the hygiene guidelines and products such as surface disinfectants. WHO, CDC, and other health and disease-related international organizations release various guidelines and recommendations about the cleaning and disinfection of the health facilities, assisted living and residential institutions, households, workplaces, and business places. The risk of contamination is high at such places, and such guidelines are aimed at limiting the survival of the virus in the environment.
Moreover, the COVID-19 transmission has been linked to the close contact between the individuals inside closed settings, such as households, health facilities, assisted living, and residential institution environments. Disinfecting refers to using disinfectant chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces but effectively kills germs on a surface after cleaning, which can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
In the early days of the pandemic's spread, there was a tremendous supply-demand gap for personal hygiene products such as hand sanitizers, hand wash, soaps, and disinfectants. This sudden surge in demand was evident because the hand sanitizer market registered a growth of over 50% in February 2020.
Today, carrying a hand sanitizer or surface disinfectant has become a new normal as people become highly conscious. Shops, public places, workplaces, and malls are taking the required care to touch surfaces clean and disinfected regularly. The personal hygiene market is set to grow a whooping double-digit CAGR till 2025, wherein the surface disinfectants segment is expected to be valued at more than 4 billion by the end of 2025.
About the Author
Charudatt Gangurde is an experienced market research analyst with a demonstrated history of working on significant consult projects for the textile, basic chemicals, and specialty chemicals industry. As a senior research analyst with Straits Business Group, he is associated with various market size estimation, data forecasting, and impact analysis of the various market forces.