The global spread of Coronavirus has reached 11,663,957 with thousands of new cases reported every day. From offices to bars, cluster cases are everywhere. This high transmission is against the typical person-to-person based. Also, it may suggest another assumption that is around for months, that the coronavirus is airborne and it is spreading through the air.
Some of scientists believe that the World Health Organization (WHO) is underestimating the possibility for coronavirus to stay airborne.
239 scientists belonging to 32 countries have said in an open letter that the spread of covid19 through the air should be given greater attention. Moreover, governments should implement some measures to stop it.
If the virus is spreading through the air, then places that are crowded and have poor ventilation are at risk. For this even if people are following social distancing, they have to wear masks. Health care workers will have to be extremely careful as they care for patients and N95 masks will be a must.
The World Health Organization is of the view that the virus spreads through large respiratory droplets. When the infected people cough or sneeze, these droplets fall to the floor and not stay airborne.
The scientists have asked WHO to revise its recommendations. They also plan to publish their letter next week in a scientific journal.
The World Health Organization’s technical lead on infection control, Dr. Bendetta Allegranzi, said that the evidence suggesting that coronavirus is airborne was unconvincing.
According to Dr. Bendetta, in the last couple of months WHO has stated many times that airborne transmission is possible but the evidence is not clear or convincing. Scientists believe that WHO has good intentions but is wrong on this matter. The scientists said that coronavirus is airborne and can infect people whether it is carried in the form of very large or small droplets.
Most of these scientists believed that WHO is doing a good job with its increasing portfolio and decreasing budget. They were content with WHO’s staff for daily briefings and answering of questions tirelessly. However, according to them Infection prevention and control (IPC) are very slow in updating its guidelines.
At the start of April, a team of 36 experts urged WHO to consider the evidence that the virus is airborne and is spreading through the air. WHO responded right away and arranged a meeting. But the meeting was dictated by people who believe handwashing should be preferred over aerosols. Due to this, the advice remained the same.
The scientists pointed towards many incidents evidencing the airborne transfer of viruses, especially in crowded and poorly ventilated indoor spaces. They believe that the World Health Organization is making little or no distinction between aerosols and large droplets. The infected produce both.
An expert in the airborne transfer of viruses Lindsey Marr said that talking and coughing generate aerosols and we know it since the 1940s.
The WHO has been arguing with scientists for a large part of this pandemic. They were also late in recommending face coverings for the public. While, CDC and many other organizations have accepted the risk that people without symptoms can transmit the virus, WHO still believes that it is rare.