The Government of India on Thursday, 20 May, released new guidelines to stop the transmission of COVID-19 via aerosols and droplets, calling them the key transmission mode of the SARS-CoV-2, which can travel up to 10 metres through the air.
The advisory from the office of Principal Scientific Adviser stated that the droplets emitted by an infected person can land on various surfaces and that the virus can survive for a long time.
It also suggested frequent cleaning of high-contact points – such as door handles, switches, tables, chairs, and the floor – with disinfectants.
“Stop the Transmission, Crush the Pandemic - Masks, distance, sanitation and ventilation to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus,” the advisory read.
Aerosol and Droplet Transmission
The advisory elaborated that aerosols and droplets are key transmission modes of the coronavirus. While saliva droplets usually fall within two metres from the infected person, aerosols can be carried through the air up to 10 metres.
“Just as smell can be diluted from the air by opening windows and doors and using exhaust systems, ventilating spaces with improved directional airflow decreases the accumulated viral load in the air, reducing the risk of transmission.”Principle Scientific Adviser
The advisory to the government mentioned the importance of well-ventilated spaces. It said that ventilation can decrease the risk of transmission from one infected person to the other. Simple strategic placement of fans, open windows, and doors can also improve the air quality indoors, it added.
The new guidelines suggested that people should wear double masks or N95 masks. “Ideally surgical mask should be used only once. But when pairing, you can use it up to five times,” it read.