Hundreds of scientists from 32 countries signed up for an open letter asking the World Health Organization to review its recommendations for protection against Covid-19. Indeed, in their opinion, viral particles can linger in the air longer than previously thought. And this creates an additional danger to people, writes The New York Times
What do scientists say
The virus molecules can be in the air in the form of tiny particles. It follows that Covid-19 is distributed not only by coughing or sneezing, as WHO believes, but that it “lingers” in indoor air.
"In an open letter to WHO, 239 scientists from 32 countries cited evidence indicating that smaller particles can infect people, and urge the organization to revise its recommendations," the publication reports.
Researchers plan to publish a letter in a scientific journal this week.
The organization still believes that coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through small droplets secreted by Covid-19 infected from the nose or mouth when coughing, sneezing or talking. At the same time, the droplets quickly settle on the floor due to their size.
"Because of their relatively large mass, these drops do not fly apart over a considerable distance and quickly fall down," the WHO says.
Benedetta Allegranzi, technical director of the infection control organization, calls the evidence that the Covid-19 was airlifted "unconvincing" and notes that the issue is "serious debate."
"Especially in the past few months, we have repeatedly argued that we believe air transmission is possible, but certainly it is not confirmed by convincing or even clear evidence ... There are serious debates about this," she said.
In its June 29 update on coronavirus, the organization stated that air transmission of coronavirus is only possible after medical procedures that produce aerosols or drops less than 5 microns in size.
What will it change?
The publication writes that if the scientists prove the version, a number of additional measures will need to be introduced to curb the spread of coronavirus. That is, WHO recommendations related to Covid-19 will have to be changed.
In particular, it will be necessary to wear masks indoors, even if social distance is respected. Health care workers who care for Covid-19 patients may need Class 95 masks that filter even the smallest particles.
Ventilation systems in schools, nursing homes, residential homes and enterprises will need to be converted, installing powerful filters. Also, indoors, you may need ultraviolet lamps that can kill viral particles.
As before, the WHO advises to regularly spray your hands with an alcohol-containing product or wash them with soap, maintain a distance in public places, and do not touch eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands.
In addition, it is recommended to observe the rules of respiratory hygiene, and if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical help as soon as possible.
Covid-19 Spread: Myths
- Mosquitoes carry coronavirus. WHO assures that this is not true. At least since the beginning of the pandemic, there has not been a single confirmed case of the disease from these insects.
Also false is the claim that Covid-19 can be spread by pets.
- “5G networks carry it” is another popular myth. Note that, according to WHO, viruses are not transmitted with a radio signal or through mobile waves. The Covid-19 pandemic is spreading in many countries where 5G networks are not deployed.
- Transmitted through shoes. The shoe does not come into contact with the respiratory tract, so removing it and washing your hands, you cannot worry about infection.
- Through the feces of a sick person. According to preliminary studies, the virus may be present in the excrement of some patients, however, no established facts of fecal-oral transmission of Covid-19 have been reported.
WHO notes that they continue to study the results of ongoing studies on the transmission mechanisms of Covid-19, and will publish new data as they become available.