In a recent study, a group of 239 scientists from 32 countries have claimed that the coronavirus could spread far beyond two meters. In lieu to find the truth behind the claim, the World Health Organization (WHO) will study “emerging evidence” on airborne transmission of COVID-19.
Earlier, in an open letter to the WHO, published on July 6, in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal, the international scientists outlined evidence that they say shows small floating virus particles can linger in the air and infect people who breathe them in. They claimed that droplets under five micrometres in size can become suspended in the air for several hours and travel up to tens of meters.
Benedetta Allegranzi, the WHO’s technical lead on infection control, said, “We acknowledge that there is emerging evidence in this field … And therefore, we believe that we have to be open to this evidence and understand its implications regarding the modes of transmission and also regarding the precautions that need to be taken.”
Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s COVID-19 technical lead, said, “It is important that what we know fits into the guidance that we have … We will be issuing our brief in the coming days, and that will outline everything that we have in this area.”
The WHO has previously said that the coronavirus spreads primarily through small droplets expelled from the nose and mouth of an infected person that quickly sink to the ground.
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