NEW DELHI: The World Health Organization on Tuesday recognized emerging evidence of the aerial spread of the new coronavirus after an open letter from more than 200 scientists presented evidence showing that floating virus particles can infect people who breathe it.
“The possibility of transmission by air in public places – especially under very specific conditions, overcrowded, closed and poorly ventilated places which have been described, can not be excluded,” said Benedetta Allegranzi, technical manager of the WHO for infection prevention and control. virtual press conference.
“However, the evidence must be gathered and interpreted, and we continue to support this,” said the official.
Until now, the disease was considered to be transmitted by droplets transmitted by contact with the nose, eyes and mouth.
On Monday, an open letter to the medical community from 239 scientists published in the journal Clincal Infectious Diseases, urged the medical community, as well as national and international organizations, to recognize the potential for aerial spread of covid-19.
The letter showed that the microdroplets and virus particles released by infected patients during exhalation, conversation and cough are small enough to stay in the air and pose a risk of exposure up to a distance 2 meters.
“There is a significant potential for inhalation exposure to viruses in microscopic respiratory droplets (microdroplets) at short to medium distances (up to several meters, or at room scale), and we recommend the use preventive measures to mitigate this airborne path “, says the open letter.
So far, the Geneva-based agency and various other medical organizations have encouraged people to wash their hands regularly, maintain social distance, and take precautions against contact with droplets. They did not recognize the airborne transmission of SARS-COV2, with the exception of the procedures generating aerosols carried out in health establishments.
However, with various sources of evidence regarding the transmission of the disease by air, the WHO said it is now considering this possibility.
“We have talked about the possibility of airborne and aerosol transmission as one of the modes of transmission of covid-19,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical manager for the covid-19 pandemic.
If the multilateral agency changes its guidelines on the prevention of covid-19, this will lead to a general revision of the guidelines on social distance around the world. Indian government itself advises at least one meter distance between people to prevent spread