Airborne transmission possible crowded indoors: WHO

| | New Delhi
  • 0

Airborne transmission possible crowded indoors: WHO

Saturday, 11 July 2020 | PNS | New Delhi

The World Health Organization (WHO) has admitted that coronavirus may linger in the air in crowded indoor spaces suggesting the possibility of aerosol transmission in crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces over a prolonged period of time.  But it has stressed that more evidence in terms of research was required in that direction.

“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.

In the 10-page brief that explored all possible modes of transmission for SARS-CoV-2, the global health agency admitted that aerosol transmission cannot be ruled out, especially in crowded and poorly ventilated areas. It said that airborne spread “particularly in specific indoor locations, such as crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces over a prolonged period of time with infected persons cannot be ruled out”.  

The WHO further stated that understanding how, when and in what types of settings the SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads between people is critical for developing effective public health and infection prevention measures to break chains of transmission. It noted that that studies evaluating Covid-19 outbreaks in restaurants, choir practices and fitness classes suggested the virus might have been spread in the air.

The WHO said current evidence suggests that COVID-19 transmission occurs primarily through direct, indirect, or close contact with infected individuals through their saliva and respiratory secretions, or through their respiratory droplets expelled when they cough, sneeze, talk or sing.

The global health agency has long dismissed the possibility that the coronavirus spreads through the air except for certain risky medical procedures. The WHO also recognised the importance of asymptomatic people spreading Covid-19.

The UN health body has long downplayed this phenomenon. The WHO has repeatedly said such transmission was rare. “Infected people can transmit the virus both when they have symptoms and when they don’t have symptoms,” the agency said. However, the extent of truly asymptomatic infection still remains unknown, it added.

Earlier, a group of 239 scientists from 32 different countries have published an open letter to the WHO and other health agencies, calling for them to update their information on the coronavirus. The group of scientists argue that the WHO needs to give more weight to the role of the airborne spread of Covid-19.

State Editions

Lowest 4 deaths in 130 days

30 November 2020 | PNS | Bhubaneswar

32 new +ves in BBSR

30 November 2020 | PNS | Bhubaneswar

Another fake ghee making unit busted

30 November 2020 | PNS | Bhubaneswar

State Assembly road closed for public

30 November 2020 | PNS | Bhubaneswar

Undue favour shown to construction firm

30 November 2020 | SAROJ MISHRA | Bhubaneswar

IIFL loot: Security guard also held

30 November 2020 | PNS | Bhubaneswar

Sunday Edition

Working From Home? Beware of that cyber attack

29 November 2020 | Ajay Singh | Agenda

Pebbles of a dead sea

29 November 2020 | Somen Sengupta | Agenda

Astroturf | Mind balance is the key

29 November 2020 | Bharat Bhushan Padmadeo | Agenda

Talktime | ‘Chhalaang was slated to do well’

29 November 2020 | Shalini Saksena | Sunday Pioneer

no kidding

29 November 2020 | MUSBA HASHMI | Sunday Pioneer

‘I’m enjoying the process of writing new songs now’

29 November 2020 | Shalini Saksena | Sunday Pioneer