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Wear A Double Mask, Ensure Cross Ventilation: Experts On Ways To Eliminate Airborne Transmission Of COVID-19

Reducing the airborne transmission of coronavirus requires measures to avoid inhalation of infectious aerosols, ensuring good ventilation, and use of masks whenever indoors, states The Lancet

Wear A Double Mask, Ensure Cross Ventilation: Experts On Ways To Eliminate Airborne Transmission Of COVID-19

New Delhi: “There is consistent, strong evidence that SARS-CoV-2 spreads by airborne transmission. Although other routes can contribute, we believe that the airborne route is likely to be dominant”, states a recent assessment published in the medical journal Lancet. The article gives 10 scientific reasons in support of the airborne transmission of COVID-19 causing novel coronavirus. The paper states that reducing airborne transmission of the virus requires measures to avoid inhalation of infectious aerosols, including ventilation, air filtration, reducing crowding and time spent indoors, use of masks whenever indoors, attention to mask quality and fit, and higher-grade protection for health-care staff and front-line workers.

Also Read: COVID-19 Explained: Triple Mutation In India

NDTV spoke to experts to know more about the kind of mask to wear and the ventilation to be maintained to eliminate airborne transmission of the virus.

Wear Double Face Mask

Dr Joyeeta Basu, Co-founder and Director of Doctors Hub is of the opinion that the use of a double mask should be mandated. Giving out the reason for the same, Dr Basu said,

Many masks don’t fit perfectly on the face. Most of the time, they slip down from the nose and mouth, so, double mask with a perfect fit would be the best way to prevent catching the virus from other people especially if you are in a crowded place.

Dr Basu said that an N-95 mask can do the job of two masks so no need to double up. A surgical mask should be layered with a triple-layer cloth mask.

Also Read: Airborne Transmission Of Novel Coronavirus Can Occur In Healthcare Settings: World Health Organisation

Experts have earlier specified that a mask should be worn correctly and it should cover the nose, mouth and chin. There should be no gap between the mask and skin towards the cheeks or chin. A mask has to form a seal around your nose and mouth, said Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS.

To check the fit of the mask, cup your hands around your mask and blow into it. If you can feel air escaping from the corners of the mask or from under your eyes, adjust it to close all gaps.

Additionally, Dr Basu clarified that one needs to wear a mask and continue wearing a double mask even after getting the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or both. She said,

You have to know that vaccines show 90 per cent efficacy or 70 per cent efficacy. You could be falling in the rest 10 per cent or 20 per cent where the vaccine doesn’t show any efficacy. So you have to continue wearing a mask even after getting fully vaccinated.

Also Read: Coronavirus Outbreak: Stop Wearing N95 Masks With Valves! Here’s Why

Ensure Good Cross Ventilation Indoors: Dr Randeep Guleria

The Lancet report has specified that the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is higher indoors than outdoors and is substantially reduced by indoor ventilation. Backing the same, Dr Guleria suggests having good cross ventilation and not crowding up indoor spaces.

In aerosol transmission, particles are smaller than 5 microns and can travel a far longer distance. So if an infected person coughs and sneezes in a closed room, the virus may be present in the air even after he is gone, explained Dr Guleria while emphasising on the importance of free air circulation.

In a closed atmosphere, even one infected person can infect everyone. It is not that even if a person sits 10 meters away from a person who is positive, you cannot get infected. Because aerosol can travel a longer distance and if a person coughs or sneezes, it can even be much longer, added Dr Guleria.

Also Read: Four Steps To Fight COVID Effectively Explained By AIIMS Chief Dr Randeep Guleria

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 (WaterSanitation 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 pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

22,70,55,138Cases
18,97,86,461Active
3,25,98,424Recovered
46,70,253Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 22,70,55,138 and 46,70,253 have died; 18,97,86,461 are active cases and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 5:36 am.

India

3,33,81,728 34,403Cases
3,39,0563,867Active
3,25,98,424 37,950Recovered
4,44,248 320Deaths
In India, there are 3,33,81,728 confirmed cases including 4,44,248 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,39,056 and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,11,525 3,595

52,893 310

63,20,310 3,240

1,38,322 45

Kerala

44,46,228 22,182

1,86,754 4,559

42,36,309 26,563

23,165 178

Karnataka

29,65,191 1,108

16,202 282

29,11,434 808

37,555 18

Tamil Nadu

26,40,361 1,693

16,756 120

25,88,334 1,548

35,271 25

Andhra Pradesh

20,34,786 1,367

14,708 105

20,06,034 1,248

14,044 14

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,628 23

193 11

16,86,549 11

22,886 1

West Bengal

15,59,567 707

8,025 25

15,32,922 725

18,620 7

Delhi

14,38,373 28

409 5

14,12,880 22

25,084 1

Odisha

10,18,298 580

5,335 105

10,04,845 681

8,118 4

Chhattisgarh

10,04,988 31

352 2

9,91,077 29

13,559

Rajasthan

9,54,230 4

103 1

9,45,173 5

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,677 22

149 0

8,15,446 22

10,082

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,374 7

119 5

7,81,738 12

10,517

Haryana

7,70,697 9

327 8

7,60,562 17

9,808

Bihar

7,25,864 12

72 6

7,16,134 6

9,658

Telangana

6,62,785 259

5,282 43

6,53,603 301

3,900 1

Punjab

6,01,180 30

314 11

5,84,399 38

16,467 3

Assam

5,97,074 468

5,381 15

5,85,914 479

5,779 4

Jharkhand

3,48,102 6

102 8

3,42,867 14

5,133

Uttarakhand

3,43,330 20

284 12

3,35,657 32

7,389

Jammu And Kashmir

3,27,466 170

1,421 72

3,21,630 98

4,415

Himachal Pradesh

2,16,430 127

1,568 82

2,11,215 206

3,647 3

Goa

1,75,183 95

699 1

1,71,195 96

3,289

Puducherry

1,25,170 107

963 63

1,22,380 42

1,827 2

Manipur

1,17,913 216

2,614 7

1,13,478 219

1,821 4

Tripura

83,787 31

427 26

82,553 56

807 1

Meghalaya

78,958 229

1,804 140

75,784 86

1,370 3

Mizoram

76,591 1,121

13,888 85

62,449 1,202

254 4

Chandigarh

65,168 4

31 2

64,319 2

818

Arunachal Pradesh

53,990 47

536 9

53,183 56

271

Sikkim

30,802 64

775 28

29,648 36

379

Nagaland

30,763 32

505 14

29,610 44

648 2

Ladakh

20,631 6

41 1

20,383 5

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670

5 0

10,661

4

Lakshadweep

10,353

4 0

10,298

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,595 3

15 2

7,451 1

129

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