The World Health Organization on Thursday released a new scientific report detailing how coronavirus can be passed from one person to another – including air during certain medical procedures.
The report also notes that there are still many unanswered questions about air transport and how exactly the virus is spreading.
The report comes just days after a letter was signed Monday by 239 scientists who called on the body to be more careful about the possibility of infecting people with the virus from droplets floating in the air.
“Airborne transmission of the virus can occur in healthcare facilities where specific medical procedures, called aerosol manufacturing procedures, create very small droplets called aerosols. Some indoor, multi-space indoor reports have suggested the possibility of airborne transmission, in combination with droplet transmission, for example, during choir practice, in restaurants or gym classes, “the new WHO report said. for corona, called SARS-CoV-2.
Furthermore, “current data show that SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs mainly between individuals through direct, indirect or close contact with infected individuals through infected secretions such as saliva and respiratory secretions or through their respiratory droplets, which are excreted. when the infected person coughs, sneezes, talks or sings, “the report said. “Respiratory droplets from infected people can also land on objects.”
The report also said that “COVID-19 cases have been reported in some closed locations, such as restaurants, nightclubs, places of worship or workplaces where people may shout, talk or sing. In these cases, aerosol transmission, especially in these interiors where there are crowded and poorly ventilated areas where infected people spend long periods of time with others, it cannot be ruled out. More studies are urgently needed to investigate such cases and assess their importance for COVID transmission. 19 “
In general, according to the WHO, airborne transmission refers at any time to an infectious pathogen that causes the disease to spread in the air and remains contagious when suspended in the air over long distances and times.
Dr. Benedetta Allegranzi, technical director of WHO for the prevention and control of infections, said in an interview in Geneva on Tuesday that the agency has discussed and worked with many of the scientists who signed the letter, claiming that the WHO has no sincere interest in air transport. .
“We recognize that there are emerging elements in this area, as in all other areas related to the Covid-19 virus and pandemic, and therefore we believe that we need to be open to these elements and understand their impact on the ways transmission, and also on the precautions to be taken, “Allegranzi said.
For a long time, “we are talking about the possibility of airborne transmission and aerosol transmission as one of the modes of transmission of Covid-19”, Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical lead for corona response and head of the unit’s emerging diseases and zoonoses, said previously during an briefing in Geneva on Tuesday.
“This is a respiratory pathogen and that’s why it’s important that we know it fits the guidance we have, so we need a comprehensive package of interventions to be able to stop transmission,” said Van Kerkhove. “This includes not only physical distance. It includes the use of a mask, which is required in certain settings, especially where you can’t do physical distance, and especially for healthcare workers.”