Coronavirus FAQs

1. What is the 2019 novel coronavirus/COVID-19?  

For information on the 2019 novel coronavirus/COVID-19, please visit the World Health Organization (WHO) website: https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses

2. What is the source of 2019 novel coronavirus/COVID-19?

Public health officials and partners are working hard to identify the source of the 2019 novel coronavirus/COVID-19. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people. Analysis of the genetic tree of this virus is ongoing. For more information about the source and spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus/COVID-19 visit the WHO at: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus/origins-of-the-virus

3. How does the virus spread?

This virus probably originally emerged from an animal source but now seems to be spreading from person-to-person. It is important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people. Learn what is known about the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus/COVID-19 here: https://www.who.int/coronavirus-how-is-it-transmitted

4. What are the symptoms and complications that 2019 novel coronavirus/COVID-19 can cause?

Current common symptoms reported for patients with 2019 novel coronavirus/COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, difficulty breathing and fatigue. Read more about 2019 novel coronavirus/COVID-19 symptoms here: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_3

5. How can I help protect myself?

One of the most effective way of staying safe from the COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed to the virus entirely. Based on the behaviour of respiratory viruses in general, the WHO has outlined everyday activities to help keep you safe:

  • Wash hands with germ protection soap and water, and/or use a 70% alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Cover nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or flexed elbow
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms
  • Thoroughly cook meat and eggs
  • No unprotected contact with live wild or farm animals
    For more information on the available vaccines please visit: https://www.who.int/covid-19-vaccines

6. How does soap prevent the 2019 novel coronavirus/COVID-19 from spreading?

One of the best ways to prevent the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus/COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed to the virus and stop it from entering your body. Some of the easiest ways to become infected by a virus is to transfer it from your hands to your mouth, nose or eyes. Washing your hands using soap and water has a dual effect, it primarily washes the virus away from your body. It also disrupts the virus so it cannot bind and infect your cells.

Human coronaviruses, including the 2019 novel coronavirus/COVID-19, belong to the family of enveloped viruses. The “envelop” is like a jacket made up of lipids and proteins and protects the virus from the environment and helps it to enter human cells such as lung cells. Soaps, detergents and alcohol-based hand sanitizers strip these types of viruses of this jacket by dissolving the lipids and proteins and inactivates the virus. Frequent handwashing is also a good way to prevent other germs from entering your body.

7. How does a soap and alcohol-based sanitizer work on the 2019 novel coronavirus/COVID-19?

Human coronaviruses, including the 2019 novel coronavirus/COVID-19 belong to the family of enveloped viruses. The “envelope” is like a jacket made up of lipids and proteins and protects the virus from the environment and helps it to enter human cells such as lung cells. Soaps, detergents and alcohol-based hand sanitizers disrupt the envelop resulting in the inactivation of these types of viruses.

8. How does Lifebuoy Soap and alcohol-based sanitizer work against the 2019 novel coronavirus/COVID-19?

As prescribed by WHO, the use of soap and alcohol-based sanitizers is an effective way to prevent the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus/COVID-19 by hand transmission. Coronaviruses, including the 2019 novel coronavirus/COVID-19 are enveloped viruses. Lifebuoy soap and alcohol-based hand sanitizers inactivate the envelope of the 2019 novel coronavirus/COVID-19 making it ineffective.

9. Does water work just as well as soap?

No. Handwashing with soap is substantially more effective at cleaning your hands than handwashing with water alone. The surfactants in soap can remove or inactivate germs in addition to better removal of dirt than washing your hands with water alone.

In the event of an outbreak like the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus/COVID-19, it is advised to follow hand hygiene practices frequently as advised by local government authorities.

10. Do bar soaps work as well as hygiene liquid hand washes?

Yes. Bar soaps are just as effective as liquid soaps in removing dirt, and germs and keeping your hands clean. What is most important is proper hand hygiene practices.

To prevent the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus/COVID-19, it is advised to follow hand hygiene practices frequently as advised by local government authorities.

11. Should we be washing our faces and bodies as often as we wash our hands?

Personal hygiene is important for everyone, and that includes washing our faces and bodies to ensure we are clean, smell nice and remove daily dirt, grime and germs. Our hands come into more contact with surfaces and objects that could potentially carry germs they are the most important parts of our bodies to keep clean. However, as we often touch our faces, we should all ensure that we clean our faces at least twice per day.

12. Are germs and viruses the same thing?

The term “germs” refers to the microscopic bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa that can cause illness. Virus is a type of germ. Germs are essentially the umbrella word for nasty things that could make us ill. Germs can be found in the air, our bodies, on food, plants, animals, surfaces and just about anything we could come into contact with.

13. How does Lifebuoy soap differ from other soaps?

Lifebuoy comes in a unique range of formats and variants that allows you to select the ones that are best suited to you and your family. Lifebuoy has over 125 years of research and heritage in personal health and hygiene. Lifebuoy started with William Lever's goal to stop cholera in Victorian England. Over the past century, we've evolved into one of the world's leading germ protection soaps, and we are sold in over 60 countries.

In fact, since 2010, we have reached 1 billion people through our global handwashing programmes and TV advertising in order to improve people’s health and hygiene. As prescribed by the WHO, the use of soap and alcohol-based sanitizers is an effective way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus by hand transmission. Coronaviruses, including the 2019 novel coronavirus/COVID-19 are enveloped viruses. Lifebuoy soap and alcohol-based hand sanitizers is proven effective against the 2019 novel coronavirus/COVID-19 as per lab tests.

14. Do hand sanitizers work as effectively as soap?

Washing your hands with soap and water is a great choice for cleaning your hands and removing dirt and germs. However, if soap and water is not available, then the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers is recommended by health authorities. But it is important to use the correct hand sanitizer – one that contains alcohol. Not all hand sanitizers are the same.

15. Are beauty soaps as effective as other soaps in terms of protecting against the 2019 novel coronavirus/COVID-19?

As per the WHO, all soaps are effective in preventing the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus/COVID-19. This is an enveloped virus, which means that soaps act on the surface of the virus, inactivating it.

16. How often should people wash their hands?

Some of the key moments that people should wash their hands are: after using the bathroom, before and after eating (snacking included). It is also worth washing your hands after coming into contact with potentially ill people and places where germs could easily spread, such as at public facilities, hospitals or on public transport. For information on when, why and how to wash your hands visit: https://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/Hand_Hygiene_Why_How_and_When_Brochure.pdf (0.5MB PDF)

17. What should people do beyond washing their hands to protect themselves from the 2019 novel coronavirus/COVID-19?

Avoiding the virus is the most important thing you can do. Having a clean home and avoiding people who seem ill, including your friends and family, is important in reducing your chances of catching the virus. If you are ill yourself, you should always use a tissue or face mask to cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing. For more information on what to do when you are sick {insert link from WHO or SA Gov}.

 

The World Health Organization (WHO) is advising people to do what they can to avoid the 2019 novel coronavirus/COVID-19, which includes washing our hands regularly throughout the day.

For more updated information, visit the WHO and Centres For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) websites:

WHO: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/

 

Stay clean and stay safe.