Asia-Pacific greets safely in times of COVID-19

A new initiative by UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific is promoting ‘safe greetings’ to avoid physical contact and slow the spread of COVID-19 in the region. Using social media messages and illustrations inspired by traditional hand gestures used across the region, the campaign “Greet like me” invites individuals to practice social distancing while embracing their local traditions.

The campaign includes greetings commonly used throughout countries and regions of Asia and the Pacific. As an essential element to exercising physical distancing, it urges individuals to avoid shaking hands, hugging or cheek kissing.

Since the beginning of the new coronavirus outbreak, the World Health Organization (WHO) has advised the public to practice social distancing -also referred to as physical distancing- to prevent the disease.

Together with other basic protective measures such as washing hands frequently, avoid touching face, eyes or nose, and covering mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, social distancing is known to be one of the practical actions that can be implemented at all levels to stay healthy and avoid infection.

The “Greet Like Me” initiative was inspired by the “Salam for Safety” campaign created by UN Women Afghanistan, which encourages the use of the traditional greeting knowns as “Salam” (peace) that involves the gesture of placing a hand on the chest, instead of shaking hands.

[Download the social media cards here.]