Soap Remains Our Best Hope In A Post-Lockdown World
Coronavirus: Until an effective vaccine becomes available, washing our hands with soap and water remains one of the most important ways to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe from infections.
Hindustan Unilever earlier committed Rs 100 crores to help in the fight against COVID-19
The outbreak of COVID-19 created an unprecedented situation around the world, resulting in many countries going into lockdown to stem the spread of the COVID-19 disease.
As lockdown restrictions ease, people are beginning to step out, use public transport, commute to work, and engage with others while observing social distancing rules.
But the global pandemic is far from over, and until an effective vaccine becomes available, washing our hands with soap and water remains one of the most important ways to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe from infections.
The simple power of soap and water
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), handwashing with soap is one of the most effective interventions to help reduce the spread of pathogens and prevent infections, including COVID-19.
"SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, belongs to the family of enveloped viruses. Enveloped viruses have a jacket made up of lipids and proteins that allows them to exist and helps them to enter human cells when your hands touch your face," says Samir Singh, executive vice-president, Global Skin Cleansing at Unilever.
"Unfortunately, human skin is an ideal surface for germs, including enveloped viruses, to stick to. The proteins and fatty acids on the skin's surface bind to the germs like glue. Water alone cannot effectively break this interaction. Soapy water, however, is very different.
Washing your hands using soap and water has a dual effect. Soap cleverly targets and interferes with the enveloped virus' outer membrane so it cannot bind to the skin and it also washes the virus away from your body and down the sink", added Singh.
The soap makers who bring hope
While most of us remained in the safety of our own homes during the lockdown, a silent group of factory workers have been working relentlessly in the background to manufacture soap and hand sanitisers, ensuring adequate supply of hand hygiene products for the public.
The #Hopemakers video is a celebration of their selfless service and a recognition that their work will continue to be critical, especially as lockdown restrictions ease.
In the past 130 years, families around the world have trusted Lifebuoy, one of the world's trusted germ protection soap, to help keep infections at bay. The brand is now available in over 50 countries, and its long-standing mission to promote good hand hygiene habits through effective behaviour change programmes have already impacted the lives of more than 1 billion people globally. Lifebuoy is also donating over 20 million products, including soap, hand sanitisers and germ protection wipes to various organisations and initiatives all over the world to aid in the fight against COVID-19.
Closer to home, Hindustan Unilever (HUL), which produces Lifebuoy products, earlier committed Rs 100 crores to help in the fight against COVID-19. It has taken a host of other measures such as reducing the price of essential hygiene products, distributing free soap to those who needs it the most, a Rs 10-crore donation for better testing facilities, and public awareness programmes.
In crisis like this, companies have a big role to play. Unilever is working closely with Governments and partners to ensure that this global health crisis is overcome.
To learn more about maintaining good hand hygiene, visit Lifebuoy's Twitter page.
 Calculation based on Nielsen unit sales information for the total markets (approximately 40 countries), latest 12 months available. Details available on request.
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