Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

The deadly impact from the second wave of COVID-19 in early half of 2021 has highlighted the true importance for taking all possible health advisories seriously. The collapsing and over-burdened healthcare systems across major Indian cities has proved to us the grim reality that in the long run, precaution is certainly better than any form of cure. 

With over *28 Million people infected from COVID 19 (*by end of May, 2021) partly due to the spread of cases from major cities to smaller towns and villages, there is a growing urgency to increasingly adopt and follow COVID 19 Appropriate Behaviours. There is increasing scientific evidence that proves following these behaviours can significantly slow down the transmission of Coronavirus and reduce its spread.

We all can play a role in protecting the vast populations who are unaffected but are at risk of infection, by simply following COVID-19 appropriate behaviours (CABs). Together we can ensure that these measures are followed by people to lower their risk of further infection.

COVID-19 preventive measures

WaterAid India’s approach towards ensuring people follow these preventive behaviours has been to work directly with communities and individuals that are most vulnerable or at-risk groups – sanitation workers, waste pickers, people engaged in manual scavenging, school children, Anganwadi workers etc. 

While getting vaccinated continues to be the proven long-term solution against the virus, it is essential that we reinforce key behaviours in the immediate short-term to stay protected & safe. So, while face masks are critical in reducing the chances of contracting COVID-19 spread, it alone is NOT sufficient for controlling the spread. Please follow these guidelines to ensure YOUR safety and that of others. 

COVID Appropriate Behaviour to ensure safety are:

Physical distancing

Maintaining physical distancing, avoidance of crowded spaces and closed areas

Hand washing at critical times

Regular handwashing with soap for at least 40 seconds or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer 

instruction for covid prevention

Consistent and proper use of triple-layer masks, especially in closed or less ventilated spaces 


Regularly clean surfaces and toilet to make it virus free

Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water at

Steps to hand-washing explained

Guidelines on use of masks during the COVID-19 pandemic

Use three-layered fabric masks or medical masks at all times outside your home or in work place

Advisory on COVID-19 prevention

COVID appropriate behaviour to follow up while stepping out of home or attending any event

Resources - Open assets for download


This Global Handwashing Day-Let’s Make Washing Hands Normal

An assessment of handwashing promotion in South Asia and India during COVID-19

The report contains rapid research studies in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan during May and June 2020, to assess the effectiveness of handwashing promotion with a focus on marginalised and vulnerable groups. 

Sanitation worker covid appeal
Image: WaterAid/Sudharak Olwe

Health, Safety and Social Security Challenges of Sanitation Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic in India

Sanitation workers already face several health and safety risks, financial challenges and stigma due to the nature of their work and caste-based and gender-based discrimination. 

Precautions for COVID19
Image: WaterAid/Aoun Naqvi

COVID-19 appropriate (protective) behaviours

Call to Action for widespread promotion of COVID-19 appropriate (protective) behaviours to tackle India’s COVID-19 crisis

WASH in Anganwadi
Image: WaterAid India/Narayana Swamy Subbaraman

COVID-19 उपयुक्त (सुरक्षात्मक) व्यवहार

भारत के COVID-19 संकट से निपटने के लिए COVID-19 उपयुक्त (सुरक्षात्मक) व्यवहारों के व्यापक प्रचार के लिए कॉल टू एक्शन