- 239 scientists have claimed people can catch Coronavirus from air droplets
- WHO has acknowledged the emerging evidence on COVID-19 transmission
- In closed rooms, suspended particles in air are a potential risk: Dr Shekha
New Delhi: As the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirms “emerging evidence” of airborne transmission of COVID-19, CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) Director-General Dr Shekhar Mande on Thursday (July 9) said that wearing masks has never been more important. “In my opinion, masks should be compulsory for everyone to wear, including in the rooms. If you are in the office it is important that the office is well ventilated. If you are in closed spaces, ventilate them, and if you are in open spaces, make sure you are wearing a mask always and maintain social distance,” Dr Mande said.
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WHO confirmed that there is an ’emerging evidence’ of airborne transmission of the deadly virus, following a letter signed by 239 scientists, urging the agency to be more forthcoming about the likelihood that people can catch the virus from air droplets.
While explaining the difference between airborne and non-airborne, Dr Mande said that there is ’emerging evidence’ in the world that when we speak, we emit aerosols – less than five microns in size. Since they are small, they remain suspended in the air.
If they remain suspended in air, then in a crowded place even if one is infected, there is a potential risk that this individual will pass it on to many others. In closed rooms, where ventilation is not very good, suspended particles in the air are also a potential risk of infection, he said.
Dr Mande further said that social distancing, along with wearing masks, still remains to be the biggest tools of precautions against coronavirus.
Earlier, WHO Technical Lead for Infection Prevention and Control Dr Benedetta Alleganzi on Wednesday had said,
We acknowledge that there is emerging evidence in this field, as in all other fields regarding the COVID-19 and pandemic and therefore, we believe that we have to be open to this evidence and understand its implications regarding the modes of transmission and also regarding the precautions that need to be taken.
However, Dr Alleganzi had added that more research needs to be done on the nature of COVID-19 transmission.
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NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.