Airborne spread of COVID-19 not reported so far: WHO official


New Delhi: Airborne spread of COVID-19 has not been reported so far and it is transmitted mostly through respiratory droplets and close contact, Regional Director of WHO South-East Asia Dr Poonam Khetarpal Singh said Monday.

Her comments came in the backdrop of rumours about airborne transmission of the novel coronavirus doing rounds on social media. It spread huge panic among people across the country as the news started doing the rounds.

“Airborne spread has not been reported for COVID-19. Based on the information received so far and on our experience with other coronaviruses, COVID-19 appears to spread mostly through respiratory droplets (for instance those produced when a sick person coughs) and close contact. This is why WHO recommends maintaining hand and respiratory hygiene,” Singh said.

Singh said Chinese authorities reported that there could be a possibility of aerosol transmission in a relatively closed environment with prolonged exposure to high concentrations of aerosols, like in ICUs and CCUs in hospitals. “However, ‘more investigations and analysis of epidemiological data is needed to understand this mode of transmission of the virus,” Singh added.




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