From the onset of this pandemic, the world health organization(WHO) insisted that COVID-19 is transmitted through droplets that do not remain in the air but fall onto surfaces. That’s why hand washing has been identified as a key prevention measure.
But 239 scientists from 32 countries disagree. They say the virus can also spread in the air through tinier particles around for hours after people talk. They accused the WHO of underestimating the possibility of airborne transmission.
Speaking in a virtual press briefing at Geneva on Tuesday, Benedetta Allergranzi the WHO’s technical lead for infection prevention and control stated that “ evidence emerging of airborne transmission of the corona virus in crowded, closed and poorly ventilated settings that have been described, cannot be ruled out”
An airborne transmission is the suspension of tiny particles possibly produced by talking in the air for longer and traveling further.
However, the evidence needs to be gathered and interpreted. “ the WHO is preparing a scientific brief to address the continually emerging evidence on transmission of COVID-19 and will release it in the coming days”- Dr Maria Van Kerkhove an official said.
This evidence will have to be thoroughly evaluated but if confirmed, there will have to be a change in prevention norm and could lead to more widespread use of masks and more social distancing.
For now, we need to wait for more evidence to emerge to see if this theory holds through.