Mask & Ventilation Can Check COVID-19 Spread In Closed Rooms: IIT-Bhubaneswar

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Bhubaneswar: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bhubaneswar conducted a study that highlighted that mask and adequate ventilation is the key to check the spread of COVID-19 in closed environments.

The study explored aerosol droplets’ reach and leakage from various protective measures like face masks and shields during “breathing”.

Assistant Professor, School of Mechanical Science (SMS), Dr Venugopal Arumuru and his team at IIT-Bhubaneswar conducted the study. The breathing patterns simulated in the study imitated typical breathing frequencies that include breathing while standing at rest and also slightly longer breaths of healthy adults involved in a moderate activity like walking, a release from the institute said.

The study highlights that the smaller droplets (diameter < 10µm), expelled during breathing, can travel up to 4 feet in 5 seconds.

It strongly recommends not to use a surgical mask during normal conversations. Surgical mask and face shield combinations are discouraged in hospitals and other places where strict social distancing guidelines are difficult to follow. The leakage of the droplets is noticeable in these cases.

IIT-Bhubaneswar director, Professor RV Rajakumar congratulated the team for conducting a relevant and relatively unexplored study. “IIT-Bhubaneswar is continuously engaged in proposing and implementing technological developments to run the academics without also compromising the quality during COVID‐19 pandemic,” he added.

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