Covid19 could be Airborne: WHO update on July 2020

Covid19 could be Airborne. Yes that is right. The World Health Organization has turned the covid19 story on its head. While we’ve been thinking that the virus is spreading through droplets which are on surfaces coming from infected person. But it turns out that Covid19 could be Airborne. It could linger in the air in the form of droplets for several hours. If that is true then it changes everything that we know about this disease. It also changes the fact that just mere hand washing and social distancing alone are not going to be enough. Masks are going to be much more important than ever before.

Covid19 mask
A child in a medical mask during a coronavirus pandemic

Here comes the bad news and the bad news could affect all of us. It
could affect not just the big cities but also the small towns and the villages. Because the spread may be far more virulent as Covid19 could be Airborne and infectious than we earlier thought. The WHO has admitted there may be some truth that this virus lingers in the air in the form of very small tiny droplets. It happens after more than 200 scientists wrote to the WHO earlier this week.

Benedetta Allegranzi, WHO Expert on Covid19 could be Airborne


“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”

Letter from 239 scientist

Scientist to WHO

That’s the WHO finally acknowledging the possibility of airborne coronavirus. Which can be spread by tiny particles suspended in the air. For months the WHO insisted that covid 19 is transmitted via droplets emitted when people cough or sneeze. Droplets that do not linger in the air but fall onto surfaces. That’s why hand-washing has been identified as a key prevention cure. The WHO shift in position comes after 239 scientists from 32 countries wrote an open letter to the organization. It is arguing that Covid19 can be transmitted through the air.
The letter says “Multiple studies have demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that viruses are released during exhalation, talking and coughing in micro droplets. Small enough to remain aloft in the air. These micro droplets pose a risk of exposure at distances beyond one to two metres from an infected individual.”

Focused areas due to Covid19 could be Airborne

Covid19

If airborne transmission is route for the spread of the virus it will mean reevaluating a Covid19 strategy. It will mean social distancing may be insufficient especially indoors. This may place even more importance on wearing masks around people. Who are not a part of your household if you meet them indoors. As well as increasing ventilation in enclosed areas. It could make air filtering systems more important to try to cut down on the recirculation of air. It might mean health care workers caring for
coronavirus patients need the highest grade of masks in 95 to filter out the smallest droplets. While the evidence will have to be thoroughly evaluated we now have to be extra vigilant to keep covid 19 at being.

Dr. David Nabarro, WHO Envoy

Should we be prepared for an airborne covid 19? Dr. David Nabarro is the WHO Special Envoy on Covid19. He said ” The predominant route through which this virus is transmitted is through respiratory secretions that are copped out and appear as droplets. Which moved about a metre from an individual. This is responsible for the vast majority of infection. However as with all droplet, the particles much smaller than the usual sized droplet that may come out as well. They may also be able to transmit the disease but truthfully we do not know how important these very small or aerosol particles are in leading to outbreaks occurring.”

“What we suspect is that Covid19 could be airborne and there may be important in very closed poorly ventilated settings. When people expel from their lungs there is a possibility that the distance through which these minute particles will travel is more than the usual two meters that we talked about as necessary for physical distancing. This may well be an additional feature of the transmission what we can’t say is how commonly we are seeing people getting Covid19 with this aerosol effect.”

More than 2 meter distancing needed because Covid19 could be Airborne

Social distancing

He also said “If Covid is like measles then we would expect most of the transmission to be airborne or through aerosols. We would be super worried at the moment we believe that the minority of transmission is through this route which means that we can continue to work on the principle that if you are more than 2 meters away from another person you should be not getting Covid19 from them”

He further added “If on the other hand it turns out that this aerosol transmission is important then we need to know precisely which are the settings where it’s likely to happen. And if it turns out that it’s linked to inadequate ventilation then the immediate consequence is going to happen. We’ve got to be really careful about poorly ventilated settings. Particularly if they’re places where people shout and sing and also if they are settings where people are close to get over quite long periods of time. So we’re still in the discovery phase of this. I would quite suggest that people do not seek to change the way in which they’re dealing with this problem.”

Also read basics about Covid19 Vaccine and its status at different countries.

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