WHO Acknowledges Evidential Claims That COVID-19 Is Airborne
The World Health Organization on Tuesday acknowledged Scientists’ claim that novel coronavirus can be airborne. A total of 239 scientists from 32 countries opined based on evidence that viruses are released in the air as people talk, cough, or exhale, and the microdroplets remain aloft in air, posing a risk of transmission through the air. In fact, scientists are of the view that this could explain the novel coronavirus’ spatial pattern of infections.
Airborne And Aerosol Transmission
Previously, WHO had issued guidelines the novel coronavirus spreads through droplets released while talking, sneezing, coughing, or any such other activities. But these droplets would sink really fast to the ground. However, the new finding that coronavirus is airborne, introduced by scientists across the world challenges this possibility.
“We have been talking about the possibility of airborne transmission and aerosol transmission as one of the modes of transmission of COVID-19,” Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead on the COVID-19 pandemic at the WHO, told a news briefing, Thomson Reuters Foundation reported.
Evidence To Be Gathered And Interpreted
The organization has acknowledged the claims that COVID-19 can be transmitted through the small virus droplets in the air. But for now, it has also said that the evidence will have to be gathered and interpreted by them. “The possibility of airborne transmission in public settings – especially in very specific conditions, crowded, closed, poorly ventilated settings that have been described, cannot be ruled out. However, the evidence needs to be gathered and interpreted, and we continue to support this,” Kerkhove said.
“A comprehensive package of interventions is required to be able to stop transmission. This includes not only physical distancing, it includes the use of masks where appropriate in certain settings, specifically where you can’t do physical distancing and especially for healthcare workers,” she further added.
Measures To Be Taken To Mitigate Airborne Transmission.
The scientists in their study outlined that people living in a crowded place and with inadequate ventilation henceforth become more vulnerable to airborne COVID-19. So what should a person do? The scientists in their study also outlined several measures to mitigate airborne transmission
- Provide sufficient and effective ventilation (supply clean outdoor air, minimize recirculating air) particularly in public buildings, workplace environments, schools, hospitals, and aged care homes.
- Supplement general ventilation with airborne infection controls such as local exhaust, high-efficiency air filtration, and germicidal ultraviolet lights.
- Avoid overcrowding, particularly in public transport and public buildings.
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