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Published on: 11/05/2020

The rapid spread of the novel coronavirus has made practices such as social or physical distancing and regular handwashing an integral part of daily life. Globally, major health organisations advise washing hands more frequently (for at least 20 seconds) and the two-metre separation rule to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

However, these measures can be exceptionally difficult to put into practice in densely populated, informal urban settlements. Anecdotal evidence suggests there are challenges maintaining social distancing in such crowded locations, in addition to which there is a lack of provision of clean water for handwashing. This points to obvious limitations for the strategies that have been widely and successfully used elsewhere to combat the pandemic.

A panel of five experts highlights their activities related to providing new handwashing facilities, implementing behavioural change programmes, training and capacity building, and community mobilisation.

The panel consists of:

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