WHO admits emerging evidence on airborne transmission of coronavirus

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said there is “emerging evidence” that coronavirus could be spread through air from tinier particles suspended in the air.

The acknowledgement was made after more than 200 experts accused the agency of downplaying the possibility that people can catch the virus from droplets lingering in the air.

 

In a media brief on Tuesday, Dr Benedetta Allenganzi, WHO’s Technical Lead for Infection Prevention and Control acknowledged “emerging evidence” and urged the agency to “understand its implications” in terms of existing recommendations.

 

The evidence is not yet definitive, cautioned the official, emphasizing that further investigations are needed.

 

However, the likelihood of airborne transmission in “crowded, closed, poorly ventilated settings” could not be ruled out.

WHO announced it will release a brief in the coming weeks summarizing current knowledge on how the pulmonary virus spread.

So far, the UN agency confirms coronavirus is transmitted through large droplets (more than 5 microns - one micron is 1 millionth of one meter) emitted when people cough or sneeze. These droplets fall onto surfaces - a reason why WHO has pushed handwashing as a major prevention measure.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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