The Airborne Factor of Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic is still looming at large, and the medical community is trying hard to make it disappear. While preparations for a vaccine are taking place as we speak, there is another factor that has entered the picture. This factor talks about the aspect of transmission with rising evidence suggesting that the coronavirus might be airborne. Yes, that’s right. To make matters right, WHO has also spoken about the same through words of acknowledgement. So in order to get the overall picture, let us look into detail about the same.

1. 239 Scientists from over 32 countries

The entire scenario or even the thought about airborne transmission began in an open letter to WHO on Monday in the Clinical Infectious Diseases Journal. Around 239 scientists from over 32 countries outlined evidence to show that the virus could be floating and can infect people who breathe in them. Considering the fact that these small exhaled particles can linger around in the air, scientists have requested WHO to update its guidance on Covid-19.

On Tuesday, 7th of July, Benedetta Allegranzi, WHO’s technical lead for infection prevention and control, came forward and acknowledged the evidence in the matter. However, she did suggest that it was not definitive. As a result, one can hear about the same from the organization anytime soon. If they do think about changing their guidance policy, then governments from around the world that rely on the same information will have to adjust accordingly.


2. Suggested Measures

The open letter to the WHO also had new measures that could possibly prevent the virus from becoming a superspreader. Based on their findings, the scientists have suggested that sufficient and adequate ventilation, especially in public buildings, schools, hospitals, workplace environments, aged care homes and other places need to be installed or supplied. Overcrowding in public buildings and transport needs to be avoided at the earliest.

Apart from that, they have also gone ahead to include that general ventilation needs to be supplemented with airborne infection controls like high-efficiency air filtration, germicidal ultraviolet lights and local exhaust. According to scientists, these measures are practical and can be easily implemented. Even in terms of cost, they tend to be affordable by being a reliable measure.

3. The Need of the Hour

These findings are known to be of great significance, according to scientists, considering the fact that many countries from around the world are re-opening. The different measures that they once had for a lockdown have disappeared from the picture with workplaces and other such organizations calling their employees back. Hence, as individuals, it is quite crucial that we follow the right protocols by trying to stay at home.