AGI – The obligation to use disposable gloves on board public transport, “increasing the pace of sanitization of the vehicle, several times a day, because just once is not enough”. It is the proposal that the undersecretary of health Sandra Zampa has launched as a further tightening of the anti Covid measures, rethinking, in particular, those concerning transport.
But gloves really help prevent infections? Only under certain conditions, the Higher Institute of Health explained clearly last March. And yes, because gloves, as well as masks, if not used properly, can even become a vehicle of contagion.
The indications of the Higher Institute of Health
For the ISS, gloves, as a protective device, are good as long as “they do not replace correct hand hygiene which must be done through careful washing for 60 seconds”; “are replaced every time they get dirty and disposed of correctly in unsorted waste”; “like the hands, do not come into contact with the mouth, nose and eyes”; “are disposed of at the end of use, for example, in the supermarket”; and “are not reused”.
Gloves – again according to the Higher Institute of Health – are necessary “in some work contexts such as for example personnel assigned to cleaning, catering or the food trade” and are to be considered “indispensable in the case of hospital or home care for the sick “.
Last June it was the World Health Organization that did not recommend the use of gloves by people in public as a preventative measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Responding to a question about the need to use them when grocery shopping, WHO explained in a section of its website that “wearing gloves in public spaces does not replace the need for hand hygiene, nor does it offer any additional measures of protection against Covid-19 with respect to hand hygiene “.
In short, for the WHO, “gloves do not offer complete protection against hand contagion“, because the virus can pass” through small defects in the gloves themselves or during the removal of the gloves “; just as it is possible, with gloved hands, to pass the coronavirus” from one surface to another “or” by touching the face”.
The comment of the virologist
Those who advised against the use of gloves (“paradoxically, it can increase the risk of contagion”) had been to the AGI in an interview last September 3, the virologist Fabrizio Pregliasco, lecturer at the University of Milan.
“First of all, gloves can give a false sense of security – explained the expert – and, therefore, induce people to pay less attention to other important measures for the prevention of contagion, such as hand washing. To use gloves, instead, it should be healthcare workers, not only because they are exposed to a greater risk of contagion during the exercise of their profession, but also because they know how to use them “, Pregliasco reiterated who then warned:” More than knowing how to wear gloves, you have to know how to remove them. If they are not removed carefully you risk being infected “.