Scientists say Covid-19 is airborne

Own Correspondent

Hundreds of scientists say there is evidence that the corona virus in smaller particles in the air can infect people, and have called the World Health Organisation (WHO) to revise recommendations.

WHO has said the corona virus spreads primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are expelled when a person with Covid-19 coughs, sneezes or speaks.

In an open letter to the agency, which the researchers plan to publish in a scientific journal this week, 239 scientists in 32 countries outlined the evidence showing smaller particles can infect people.

WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic said they are reviewing the matter with technical experts.

Whether carried by large droplets that zoom through the air after a sneeze, or by much smaller exhaled droplets that may glide the length of a room, the corona virus is borne through air and can infect people when inhaled, the scientists said.

However, WHO said the evidence for the virus being airborne was not convincing, according to the New York Times.

WHO’s technical lead of infection prevention and control, Dr Benedetta Allegranzi was quoted as saying: “Especially in the last couple of months, we have stated that we consider airborne transmission as possible, but certainly not supported by solid or even clear evidence.”

Wits University Professor Shabir Madhi said airborne transmission of Covid-19 is a reality and has been underestimated.

“There is emerging evidence that we might have underestimated the role of airborne transmission of Covid-19. Unfortunately, more recently based on a number of experiences, what we term as super-spreader events suggest there is a fair amount of airborne transmission taking place. There are two parts to it, but the part we are referring to now is extremely small micro droplets that are suspended in the air for a reasonable period time. People who are in that vicinity, especially when the area is poorly ventilated, might inhale those micro droplets that could cause an infection,” Madhi said.

He said this explains the rapid rate at which the corona virus is being transmitted; and it is now more important than ever for everyone to wear masks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *