The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends washing your hands often for at least 20 minutes as a preventive measure that everyone needs to take to keep the coronavirus at bay. An Indian restaurant in Dubai seems to have come up with a very "innovative" way of getting this message across to its customers.

The restaurant is embossing a "Did you wash your hands?" reminder on its rotis (Indian flatbread) to remind its customers to wash their hands before they have their meal, while doing its bit in helping curb the spread of the deadly COVID-19 contagion.

Dubai restaurant's innovative idea

'Sagar Ratna', a restaurant that has branches in Jumeirah Lakes Towers and Oud Metha (also called Al Nasr), is embossing the message on its rotis for home delivery customers. The circular flatbreads with the special message are served as part of the restaurant's Indian thali meal.

The message is embossed using a heated steel mold which is made as per Dubai Municipality's standards, according to one of the restaurant owners. The mold has the message written in reverse, and the chef who prepares the rotis, does the embossing as well.

Roti
The special roti by Sagar Ratna with the reminder 'Did you wash your hands?' Supplied

"The mold is maintained in utmost hygiene standards as laid out by Dubai Municipality," says Piyush Maloo, who owns the restaurant along with partners Pooja Maloo and Ashish Maru.

"We prepared this special one in light of the UAE's measures to curb the spread of COVID-19," said Pooja. "This is a reminder to our customers to wash their hands before they have their meal."

The owners suggest that since Indian food is typically eaten with hands, they want their customers to maintain hygiene for their benefit and that of their loved ones.

How the 'special' roti is made

The circular roti is rolled out using a rolling pin and is then put inside a tandoor or oven and baked at a high temperature. Once the roti is perfectly baked and done well, the chef takes it out of the oven and embosses the message using the heated mold.

The restaurant serves four rotis in a typical thali meal. "The roti with the message is served right on top of the pack so people see it first thing before they start eating," says Maloo.

Sagar Ratna prepares 400 rotis every day for 100 thalis that it serves customers who order from the restaurant daily. The roti is eaten with curry and dry dishes. "These times call for safe measures to be undertaken for all. This is our bit to send the message across," Pooja concludes.

It is good to see hotels and restaurants coming up with such innovative and effective ideas to get a simple yet powerful message across. We request you to maintain personal hygiene and stay home and do you small but which can go a long way in helping curb the coronavirus menace that has sent the world out of gear.

Coronavirus prevention

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease (COVID-19), but there are ways to stop it from spreading. The WHO recommends doing the following as a first line of defence against COVID-19 infection:

• Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub
• Don't touch your eyes, nose, or mouth if your hands are not clean
• Cover your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue or flexed elbow when you cough or sneeze
• Avoid close contact (1 meter or 3 feet) with people who are unwell
• Stay home and self-isolate from others in the household if you feel unwell