Airborne Spread of COVID-19 Not Reported So Far: WHO Official
Representational image.
Representational image.(Photo: AP)

Airborne Spread of COVID-19 Not Reported So Far: WHO Official

Airborne spread of COVID-19 has not been reported so far and it is transmitted mostly through respiratory droplets and close contact, Regional Director of WHO South-East Asia Dr Poonam Khetarpal Singh said on Monday, 23 March.

Her comments came in the backdrop of rumours about air borne transmission of the novel coronavirus doing rounds on social media.

"Airborne spread has not been reported for COVID-19. Based on the information received so far and on our experience with other coronaviruses, COVID-19 appears to spread mostly through respiratory droplets (for instance those produced when a sick person coughs) and close contact. This is why WHO recommends maintaining hand and respiratory hygiene," Singh said.

She said Chinese authorities reported that there could be a possibility of aerosol transmission in a relatively closed environment with prolonged exposure to high concentrations of aerosols, like in ICUs and CCUs in hospitals.

However, "more investigations and analysis of epidemiological data is needed to understand this mode of transmission of the virus," she said.

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COVID-19 Pandemic ‘Accelerating’: WHO Chief

The new coronavirus pandemic is clearly "accelerating", the World Health Organisation warned on Monday, but said it was still possible to "change the trajectory" of the outbreak.

"The pandemic is accelerating," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told journalists in a virtual news briefing, saying "it took 67 days from the first reported case to reach the first 100,000 cases, 11 days for the second 100,000 cases and just four days for the third 100,000 cases."

But he said that "we are not helpless bystanders. We can change the trajectory of this pandemic."

(Published in an arrangement with PTI.)

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