'Americans should never shake hands again'
April 09, 2020  11:19
US' top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci has said that Americans should never shake hands again, underlining that the practise would not only prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus but also decrease instances of influenza dramatically in the country. Fauci, who is the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a lead member of the White House Task Force on Coronavirus said that washing hands should be a must in people's daily routine.

"I don't think we should ever shake hands ever again, to be honest with you,' Fauci told The wall Street Journal in a podcast interview. "Not only would it be good to prevent coronavirus disease, it probably would decrease instances of influenza dramatically in this country," he said. 

Over the past several weeks, Fauci has emerged as a key figure in the war against coronavirus and has been the most vocal against hand shakes. "As a society, just forget about shaking hands. We don't need to shake hands. We've got to break that custom," he told Sinclair Broadcast Group in another interview on Tuesday. "Because as a matter of fact, that is one of the major ways you can transmit a respiratory-borne illness," he said. 

Responding to a question on the possible measures to be taken to contain the spread of the virus, he said, "When you gradually come back, you don't jump into it with both feet. You say, what are the things you could still do and still approach normal? One of them is absolute compulsive hand-washing. The other is you don't ever shake anybody's hands." 

In recent weeks, President Donald Trump too has been talking about doing away with the hand shake, which is a part and parcel of the American culture. "And, frankly, much of the guidelines like shaking hands -- maybe people aren't going to be shaking hands anymore. You know, Tony had mentioned to me, Tony Fauci, the other day that -- I don't think he would be too upset with the concept of not shaking hands," Trump told reporters during a White House news conference last month. "He was saying that the flu would cut down, the regular flu would be cut down by quite a bit if we didn't do that, if we didn't shake hands," he said. 

The Harvard Medical Gazette recently said that some have begun to wonder if the universal form of greeting, acknowledgement or sealing a deal may become a thing of the past. -- PTI

Image: US President Donald Trump and Ireland's Prime Minister Taoiseach Leo Varadkar greet each other with a 'namaste in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, last month. 
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