In an effort to create awareness about Coronavirus and importance of Social Distancing, today’s Google Doodle follows the official guidelines on how to properly wash your hands as recommended by WHO (World Health Organisation). Even the letters ‘GOOGLE’ have space in between them signifying how important social distancing is to avoid the spread of the deadly virus.
The Doodle also shows Hungarian Physician Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis, widely attributed as the first person to discover the medical benefits of hand washing. The Hungarian Physician on this day, in 1847, was appointed Chief Resident in Vienna General Hospital’s maternity clinic, where he explained the importance of clean hands and demonstrated that doctors should disinfect their hands before attending patients, especially mothers. A mysterious infection also known as “child-bed fever” was leading to high mortality rates in new mothers in maternity wards across Europe.
Semmelweis after his thorough investigation deduced that doctors were transmitting infectious material from operations to the mothers through their hands. Immediately, the medical staff was asked to wash their hands before and after attending patients. This brought down the level of infections transmitted.
In 1865, Semmelweis suffered a breakdown and was taken to a mental hospital, where he died. Ironically, his illness and death were caused by the infection of a wound on his right hand. He died of the same disease against which struggled all his professional life. Decades later, the hygiene recommendations were validated as “germ theory of disease.” Today, Semmelweis is widely remembered as “the father of infection control,” informing generations beyond his own that hand-washing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of diseases.
Meanwhile, according to the WHO site, “most health care-associated infections are preventable through good hand hygiene — cleaning hands at the right times and in the right way.” Sadly, Vienna is also among one of the worst hit by the Corona pandemic.
Once you click on the Doodle, it directly leads to you to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, website exclusively dedicated to COVID-19, www.mohfw.gov.in. The website has details about COVID-19 helpline number at Centre, States and Union Territories, email-id, advisory on social distancing, preventive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, total number of passengers screened at airports across the nation, number of active cases in the country, number of discharged cases, number of migrated COVID-19 patient, total number of deaths due to Corona, including foreign nationals, dos and don’ts and travel advisory.
As of today, the Novel Coronavirus has spread to nearly 150 countries across the globe with major outbreaks in China, Iran, Italy, the United States and several countries in Europe. The virus has been contracted by over 2,00,000 people and has so far killed over 9,000. In India, total number of cases reported positive are 171 with the number of deaths being 4.