The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has reminded the public that the use of surgical gloves by the public is not recommended as it can give people a false sense of security.
In a statement today, MMA said it appreciated the swift action taken to remove a video uploaded onto YouTube that promoted handshaking with gloves.
The company which produced the video said it was “happy to extend its cooperation to the relevant parties” which reached out to them and expressed concern over the video.
It said it removed the video yesterday. It said although the video was uploaded on March 22, most of the footage was taken four months ago, well before the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.
MMA said in maintaining the practice of social distancing during the current Covid-19 pandemic, it encouraged the public to use the “Salam Malaysia” greeting of placing a hand on the chest instead of the handshake.
“The danger is that gloves can give people a false sense of security, to a point that other safety precautions are ignored,” warned MMA.
“The improper use of gloves can also transfer germs from one surface to another. This can lead to an increased risk of infection.”
MMA said that if improperly removed, the user can also be exposed to germs through their gloves.
Use of such surgical gloves should only be confined to certain professions in a strictly controlled environment, such as in a clinical setting under strictly observed protocols on infectious disease control, said MMA.
Instead, MMA said the public should prioritise handwashing with soap, regular hand sanitising and social distancing — all of which are preventive measures against Covid-19, based on evidence and recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the health ministry.