Covid 19 airborne? No need for panic over research, says expert


PTI, Jul 8, 2020, 3:29 PM IST

New Delhi: People need not panic over new research findings that coronavirus is airborne as studies cited by a group of over 200 scientists only convey it can be ‘at least temporarily’ in air and does not mean the pathogen is flying all over and will infect everyone, an expert has said.

This meant, people should wear mask for a longer period of time and continue to take other precautions such as social distancing to keep off the virus, Director of the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) here Rakesh Mishra said.

The letter of 239 scientists to the World Health Organisation (WHO) saying there was evidence that the coronavirus is airborne was based on two research papers, he said.

“Those are good studies. Based on that, what is being communicated to WHO is that the virus can be at least temporarily airborne, which means it can travel in droplets of smaller size less than five microns which will mean that it will be hanging in the air for longer than bigger droplet which settles down in a few minutes,” he told PTI. It meant, small droplets released when a person speaks or breathes would be in the air for some time. Hence, people have to wear a mask for a longer period of time, even if a person has left (a room) or when they go to a place, as someone there may have been potentially infected, he said.

“But, at the moment, there will not be, as far as I see, any major change in guidelines except a few modifications like this and there is no particular need to be stressed or panic that the virus is flying all over the place and it will be infecting everyone,” Mishra said.

According to a report in New York Times, the 239 scientists from 32 nations have written to the WHO, saying there is evidence that coronavirus is airborne and even smaller particles can infect people, a significant departure from the UN health agency’s claim so far that COVID-19 is spread primarily through coughs and sneezes. In an open letter to the WHO, the scientists have outlined the evidence showing that smaller particles can infect people, and are calling for the agency to revise its recommendations.

The WHO has long held that the coronavirus is spread primarily by large respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Mishra said the research findings were good as they would help in evolving more ways to plan and protect against the virus. He felt the WHO would take note of the research findings sent to it by the scientists. The mechanism of the virus is still similar except that it will hang for a little longer time in the air. “Otherwise, there is no major change that has to come (in precautions),” he said.

People should take the same precautions, including maintaining physical distance and avoiding rooms where multiple people are present, particularly those lacking aeration such as AC rooms, the scientist said, adding gathering in a closed space should be avoided strictly. They can continue to take the same precautions, but masks should be worn for a longer time, he said.

He also observed that it was too early to say that enough had been known about the virus. It was only six-months-old, and that a lot more needed to be learnt, including about what it does after infecting a person. Such knowledge would help in treating patients, he said. “I would say we have made tremendous progress but lots of things need to be still figured out,” he added.

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.

Top News

2 detained for killing tailor in Rajasthan’s Udaipur

Stinking toilets on trains: Railways deploys senior officials for inspection

Taapsee Pannu on teaming up with SRK in ‘Dunki’: It’s a golden opportunity

Eoin Morgan retires, draws curtains on glorious international career

Udupi: Youth enacts kidnap drama to extort Rs 5 Lakhs; ends up behind bars

Tailor murdered over ‘insult to Islam’, tension in Udaipur

No hike in electricity tariff for consumers for now: Min Sunil Kumar issues clarification


Related Articles More

‘Action to be taken against those violating mask rule’

Technical glitch hits compiling of Covid-19 data base for 2nd day

858 COVID-19 cases, 1 death in Karnataka

Mandaviya to chair crucial meeting with experts on rising COVID-19 cases

Karnataka reports 623 COVID-19 cases, 1 death

MUST WATCH

Bride breaks down after receiving wax statue of her late father as a gift. Video divides Internet

House Caught Fire at Kumta

Major Road Mishap at Hunasur, 1 killed and 4 injured

Vijayapura And Dotihal Tradition : farmers Celebrating Amavasya

Khadar speaks about developmental activities


Latest Additions

Zubair’s ‘objectionable’ tweet of 2018 led to Twitter storm with ‘hate’ speeches: Delhi Police

2 detained for killing tailor in Rajasthan’s Udaipur

Maha CM Thackeray chairs cabinet meeting, first after taking away rebel ministers’ portfolios

Stinking toilets on trains: Railways deploys senior officials for inspection

Taapsee Pannu on teaming up with SRK in ‘Dunki’: It’s a golden opportunity

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.