Government Advisory on Aerosol and Droplet Transmission of Covid-19

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The government of India has issued an updated general advisory on Covid-19. It has warned that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can be transported through Droplets as well as in the form of Aerosols. It can infect people up to 10 meters away.

Covid-19 Transmission: The different modes of transmission of the Covid-19 virus has been the subject of intense discussion since the start of the pandemic.

Droplets Transmission: Initially, the suggestion was that the virus spreads predominantly through Droplets.

  • Droplets are large mucus or saliva particles heavier than air that fall toward the ground as soon as they’re expelled.
  • Droplet transmission typically occurs when a droplet containing a virus comes in contact with another person’s eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • These droplets, because of their large size, travel only short distances before falling on the ground. A person 6 feet (2 meters) away is considered safe from infection.

Aerosol Transmission: Recently, scientists have been finding increasing evidence of the Covid virus traveling through aerosols as well:

  • An aerosol is a suspension of fine solid particles or liquid droplets in the air.
  • Aerosols can be natural or anthropogenic. Examples of natural aerosols are fog or mist, dust, forest exudates, and geyser steam. Examples of anthropogenic aerosols are particulate air pollutants and smoke.
  • Since aerosols are relatively light. They can carry the virus to much larger distances up to ten meters.
  • Moreover, aerosols can remain suspended in the air for several minutes or even hours. Thereby it greatly increases the chance of infecting a nearby person.
Government Advisory:
  • The Government advisory asks people to keep their indoor spaces well-ventilated by keeping doors and windows open and using exhaust systems.
  • It stresses that the infection transmission risk was much lower in outdoor areas since there is easy dispersion of virus particles.
  • Moreover, it advises introducing outdoor air in offices, homes, and larger public spaces and measures to improve ventilation in these spaces. Advisory is the same for both urban and rural areas to curtail the spread of the disease.

Source: The Hindu

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