WHO Revises COVID-19 Guidelines, Says Airborne Transmission Can’t Be Ruled Out

New Delhi: The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday acknowledged the emerging evidence of airborne spread of COVID-19 after an open letter by over 200 scientists gave evidence that the virus floated and remained suspended in the air.

“The possibility of airborne transmission in public settings – especially in very specific conditions, crowded, closed, poorly ventilated settings that have been described, cannot be ruled out,” Benedetta Allegranzi, WHO’s technical lead for infection prevention and control, said at a virtual press conference.

“However, the evidence needs to be gathered and interpreted, and we continue to support this,” she added.

“There is significant potential for inhalation exposure to viruses in microscopic respiratory droplets (microdroplets) at short to medium distances (up to several meters, or room scale), and we are advocating for the use of preventive measures to mitigate this route of airborne transmission,” the open letter said.

Until now, it was accepted that the disease transmitted through droplets through nose, eyes and mouth.


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