Lahore, 24th March: The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus an ‘airborne’ disease and thus have carried out certain precautions for the medical staff to take as this virus can survive in the air under some settings.
According to Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, this virus is transferred through droplets of liquid when a person coughs or sneezes. She told, “When you do an aerosol-generating procedure like in a medical care facility, you have the possibility to what we call aerosolize these particles, which means they can stay in the air a little bit longer.”
She added: “It’s very important that health-care workers take additional precautions when they’re working on patients and doing those procedures.”
As per the world health officials, the coronavirus particles get suspended in the air depending on the factors like heat and humidity and can be transferred through human contact, droplets carried through coughing or sneezing and the germs left on the surfaces.
Scientists are looking for how humidity, different temperature, and ultraviolet rays affect the virus and how long does it stay on the surfaces, especially steel?
WHO has issued special instructions for the healthcare workers that are dealing with the coronavirus patients, day in and out and has recommended them to wear N95 face masks because they filter out about 95% of all liquid or airborne particles.
“In health-care facilities, we make sure health-care workers use standard droplet precautions with the exception … that they’re doing an aerosol-generating procedure,” Ms. Maria said.
Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told Congress last month that the agency was evaluating how long COVID-19 can survive, particularly on surfaces?
“On copper and steel, it’s about two hours,” Redfield said at a House hearing. “But I will say on other surfaces — cardboard or plastic — it’s longer, and so we are looking at this.”
Redfield added infections contracted from surfaces rather than through the air could have contributed to the outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19, ‘an airborne’ disease which can remain for 8 hrs in the air. It is required by everyone to wear a mask everywhere.
The time this virus stays on different surfaces is as follow:
Copper, Steel – 2 hours
Paper, Plastic – 3-4 hours
Air – 8 hours or more depending on conditions.
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