It has been a long time that the world is under the grasp of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The World Health Organisation (WHO) had claimed that the coronavirus gets transmitted, primarily by large respiratory droplets. The droplets settle down quickly on surfaces, once expelled by infected people in coughs and sneezes.
However, a different story came forward on Sunday (5th July, 2020) when New York Times reported that a group of 239 scientists from 32 different countries, has addressed an open letter to WHO, highlighting the evidence that smaller particles of coronavirus can infect people. The scientists urge the WHO to revise its recommendations in this regard. Besides, the researchers plan to publish their letter in a scientific journal.
In the latest update of WHO, released on 29th June, 2020, it has informed that air-borne transmission of the virus is possible only after medical procedures that produce aerosols, or droplets, smaller that 5 microns. (1 Micron = 1/1000000 of 1 meter). WHO added that proper ventilation and N95 masks are required only during those circumstances. Otherwise, the infection control guidance of the disease, by WHO, has always, primarily promoted the importance of hand hygiene as the fundamental prevention strategy. However, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, now says, that surfaces play a minor role in the transmission of the virus.
WHO’s Technical Lead on Infection Control, Dr. Benedetta Allegranzi, said that evidence of the virus, spreading by air, is unconvincing. “Especially, in the last couple of months, we have been stating several times that we consider air-borne transmission as possible but certainly not supported by solid or even clear evidence,” Dr. Allegranzi said.
According to the group of experts, whether this virus is carried by large droplets that travel through a very short distance, or by much smaller exhaled droplets that have the capacity to cover the length of a room, while on air, it is evident that the virus stays in air and can infect people, when inhaled.