Aerosols Can Travel Up To 10 Metres, Says Government’s New Covid-19 Advisory

Saliva and nasal discharged in the form of droplets and aerosols by an infected person is the primary mode of virus transmissions, the document said

The office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India on Thursday issued new Covid-19 advisory, cautioning people to maintain social distancing to prevent the transmission of the Covid-19 virus.

According to the advisory, aerosols, one of the key transmission mode of the SARS-CoV-2, can travel in the air up to 10 meters.

While sharing a set of guidelines called “Stop the Transmission, Crush the Pandemic”, the panel said, “Always Remember: People who show no symptoms can also spread the virus.” While stating that proper ventilation can prevent the spread of the virus, the panel added, “Running air conditioners while keeping windows and doors shut, traps infected air inside the room, and increases risk of transmission from an infected carrier to others.”

Saliva and nasal discharged in the form of droplets and aerosols by an infected person is the primary mode of virus transmissions, the document said, adding that an infected person without symptoms also transmit the virus.

“Just as smells can be diluted by ventilation, the dangerous concentration of the virus can be reduced by ensuring that outdoor air flows in,” it said.

The advisory also recommended the use of gable fan systems and roof ventilators in offices, auditoriums, shopping malls and other closed public spaces. “Frequent cleaning and replacement of filters is highly recommended,” it said.

“Droplets emitted by an infected person land on various surfaces (where they can survive for a long time). As such, frequent cleaning of high contact points such as door handles, light switches, tables, chairs and the floor with disinfectants like bleach and phenyl is recommended”, the advisory said.

Droplets emitted by an infected person land on various surfaces (where they can survive for a long time), the advisory said, calling for frequent cleaning of high contact points such as door handles, light switches, tables, chairs and the floor with disinfectants like bleach and phenyl.

Wear Masks

People should wear a double layer mask or an N95 mask, which offers maximum protection, the new guidelines said. For double masking, wear a surgical mask, then wear another tight fitting cloth mask over it, the advisory said, adding that those who do not have a surgical mask can wear two cotton masks together.

“Ideally, surgical mask should be used only once, but when pairing, you can use it up to 5 times by leaving it in a dry place for 7 days after one use (ideally give it some sun exposure),” it said.

“Rapid antigen tests must be done for people entering the area. The health workers conducting the tests must be give N95 masks. Also, oximeters should be provided to monitor the infected persons,” the advisory stated.

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