Airborne Spread Of COVID-19, WHO Acknowledges

On Tuesday, the WHO admitted the emerging evidence of the airborne spread of the novel coronavirus. Recently a group of scientists requested the WHO to update their guidelines regarding the spreading of the pandemic disease between people.

In a news briefing, Maria Van Kerkhove the WHO’s technical lead on the pandemic said, “We have been talking about the possibility of airborne transmission and aerosol transmission as one of the modes of transmission of COVID-19.”

The WHO earlier said that the virus responsible for COVID-19 spreads mainly through tiny droplets ejected from nose and mouth of an infected person that small droplets expelled from the nose and mouth of an infected person that immediately sink to the ground.

However, according to the published open letter Clinical Infectious Diseases journal, to the Geneva-based agency, 239 scientists in 32 countries sketched evidence that they say shows floating virus particles can infect people who breathe them in.

The scientists are requesting the WHO to update its guidelines because these tiny exhaled particles can remain in the air.

Benedetta Allegranzi, the WHO’s technical lead for infection prevention and control said, “…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.”

She further added that however there is a need to gather the data and interpret it.

If there is any amendment made on the transmission of the novel coronavirus then it will directly impact the WHO’s guidelines of maintaining 1-metre distance to avoid the coronavirus spread.

Country’s government also have to update their guidelines as they rely on the passed guidelines. They may have to adjust public health measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.

A scientific brief would be published by the WHO summarizing the knowledge regarding the modes of transmission of the virus in the coming days, said Van Kerkhove.

She added, “A comprehensive package of interventions is required to be able to stop transmission.”

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