Yesterday over 200 scientists came out and warned the public of the coronavirus being airborne, and now the World Health Organization is reconsidering its position of COVID-19 airborne spread.
239 scientists and researchers from multiple scientific fields all signed a statement that said "Studies by the signatories and other scientists have demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that viruses are exhaled in microdroplets small enough to remain aloft in the air and pose a risk of exposure beyond 1 to 2m by an infected person. At typical indoor air velocities, a 5-micron droplet will travel tens of meters, much greater than the scale of a typical room while settling from a height of 1.5m above the floor."
Now, the WHO has responded to this report, and according to the WHO's technical lead for infection prevention and control, Benedetta Allegranzi, the WHO isn't ruling out any possibility of the airborne transmission for the coronavirus. However, Allegranzi does say that substantial evidence needs to be fathered and interpreted before any changes are made to the WHO's coronavirus guidelines. If substantial evidence is gathered an interpreted, we could possibly see a change in the WHO's advice on keeping 1 meter apart from individuals extended to a further distance.
If the WHO changes its policy on social distancing measures, many governments who rely on the WHO's recommendations may also have to adjust their own public health measures.
Geneva, Benedetta Allegranzi said, "The possibility of airborne transmission in public settings - especially in very specific conditions, crowded, closed, poorly ventilated settings that have been described, cannot be ruled out. However, the evidence needs to be gathered and interpreted, and we continue to support this."
Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead on the COVID-19 pandemic at the WHO, "We have been talking about the possibility of airborne transmission and aerosol transmission as one of the modes of transmission of COVID-19. A comprehensive package of interventions is required to be able to stop transmission. This includes not only physical distancing, it includes the use of masks where appropriate in certain settings, specifically where you can't do physical distancing and especially for healthcare workers."
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