Dr Randeep Guleria, Director of All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) today emphasised the need for good cross ventilation indoors in view of new research findings that Covid spreads through the air and not through droplets as was initially supposed.
A new article in medical journal Lancet has said the evidence that the virus is airborne is overwhelming and the safety protocol against it should be tweaked accordingly.
While speaking on the backdrop of rampant surge of Covid, Dr Guleria said the virus has less of a chance spreading outdoors than indoors. In summer it is important to open all windows and have good cross ventilation, he added.
“Your room should be very well ventilated. There should be good cross ventilation. Better to not have crowds or a meeting in a closed room. In a closed atmosphere, even one infected person can infect everyone ” Dr Guleria said.
“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, Explaining the specifics of the mode of infection, he said an aerosol infection is vastly different from the droplet transmission.
Droplets are particles bigger than 5 microns and they cannot travel very far. At the most, they travel two meters and come to settle on the ground.
Supposing this to be the dominant mode of infection, emphasis was laid on cleaning surfaces, wearing gloves and staying 2 meters away from the next person.
But 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,” Dr Guleria added, emphasising the importance of free air circulation.
Initially, the coronavirus spread through air was suggested by several groups of researchers last year, but the World Health Organisation leaned towards the droplet theory and later conceded that the virus can be airborne only in small closed rooms.