Aerosols from an infected person can travel up to 10 metres through airFriday May 21, 2021 at 11:25 am
New Delhi: On Thursday, the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser stated that aerosols from a Covid positive person can travel up to 10 meters through air. Proper ventilation can lower the chance of transmission.
In its advisory ‘Stop the Transmission, Crush the Pandemic-Masks, Distance, Sanitisation, and Ventilation to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus’, the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) observed that “well-ventilated spaces play a crucial role in diluting the Covid-19 viral load of infected air and help in decreasing the risk of transmission from one infected person to the other.”
The advisory stated, “Saliva and nasal discharge in the form of droplets and aerosols carry the virus from one person to another. Large size droplets fall to the ground and on surfaces, and smaller aerosol particles are carried in the air to greater distances.”
It stated that in an un-ventilated closed room, the droplets and aerosols get concentrated fast and heighten the chances of transmission to the people present in the room.
It told, “Droplets fall within 2 metres from an infected person and aerosols can be carried in the air up to 10 metres.”
In order to prevent the spread of the virus, earlier it was made mandatory to maintain a gap of six feet (1.8 meters).
People on social media has expressed their worries about how they got infected without mixing with any outsider.
In the first part of the year, the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, and the Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTech), Chandigarh opined that the infection was airborne.
Scientists have coordinated with a number of hospitals to see if the virus particles were visible in air samples in the wards of the hospitals.
In its advisory, the Office of the PSA stated that ventilation serves as a community defense and safeguards us at home or at work.
The advisory points out the significant role that the ventilated spaces play in the dilution of the viral load of infected air in the un-ventilated rooms.
It opined, “Ventilations can decrease the risk of transmission from one infected person to the other.”
Just as open windows, doors, and exhaust systems dilute the smell from the air, ventilators with improved directional airflow reduce the accumulated viral land in the air, whilst lowering the chances of transmission, according to the advisory.
“Ventilation is a community defense that protects all of us at home or at work. Introducing outdoor air in offices, homes, and larger public spaces are advised. Measures to improve ventilation in these spaces must be taken up on urgent priority in urban and rural areas alike, recommendations for hutments, homes, offices, and large centralized buildings are given. Simple strategic placement of fans, open windows, and doors, even slightly open windows can introduce outdoor air and improve the air quality inside, “it said.
It stated that cross ventilation and exhaust fans shall aid in lowering the spread of the virus.
When enhanced outdoor air delivery options are limited, central air-management systems come in handy.
It said that gable fan systems, roof ventilators are necessary at offices, auditoriums, and shopping malls. It also requires frequent cleaning and filters replacement.
An infected person’s saliva and nasal discharge in the form of droplets and aerosols while exhaling, talking, speaking, singing, laughing, coughing, or sneezing is the main mode of transmission. An asymptomatic person can also transmit the virus.
In its advisory, asymptomatic people can also transmit the virus. People shouldn’t refrain from using masks, double masks or N95 masks.
It concluded that the SARS-CoV-2 virus infects the human host to multiple itself. It cannot survive without the host. If the mode of transmission is stopped then the rate of infection can also be handled.