‘Coronavirus is airborne’, over 200 scientists urge WHO to revise recommendations

Chennai: As many as 239 scientists from 32 countries have urged the World Health Organization to revise its recommendations while outlining evidence showing that the novel coronavirus in smaller particles in air can infect people.

According to New York Times, they have sent an open letter to the agency to press their demand.

WHO has been saying that the coronavirus or Covid-19 is spread primarily by large respiratory droplets that when expelled by infected people through coughs and sneezes, fall on surface. Thus, the WHO has been recommending hand washing as a primary prevention strategy as our hands may come in contact with such surfaces.

In its latest update on 29 June, the WHO said the transmission of the virus through air is possible only during medical procedures that produce aerosols, or droplets smaller than 5 microns. Such procedures include tracheal intubation, non-invasive ventilation, and tracheotomy among others and only healthcare workers are exposed to such risk, according to the WHO.

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


NT Bureau