An Israeli Health Ministry video that shows how easily the novel coronavirus spreads is set to air in Italy, Georgia, and Ukraine as part of those countries’ efforts to raise awareness about the pathogen and how it behaves.
The one-minute clip first aired in Israel on Saturday evening before the nightly news. It begins with a man sneezing into his hand – which turns red in a depiction of the virus – and then opening a door using a handle now covered in droplets. The pathogen then spreads rapidly from person to person as they touch solid surfaces including elevator buttons, a cash machine, a shopping cart, and so on.
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The video emphasizes the need to wash hands thoroughly and avoid touching public surfaces, using tissues or gloves and not bare hands. The clip is translated into Arabic, Russian, Hebrew and Amharic.
The Health Ministry said on Tuesday that it was approached by officials in Italy, Georgia, and Ukraine with requests to distribute the video in their countries.
“We have allowed all countries that have contacted us to use the video freely. We are prepared to make all our materials available to them,” said Einav Shimron Grinboim, the deputy director-general of the Health Ministry’s information and international relations department.
Italy became the country hardest-hit by the pandemic over the past weeks with over 11,000 deaths and 100,000 infections. The US has the highest infection rate in the world currently, with over 160,000 confirmed cases. Ukraine has over 500 cases and 13 deaths so far. Georgia has 110 cases and no known deaths from COVID-19 so far. (Figures as of March 31)