The CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) has launched a study to review how long and how far the coronavirus can stay in the air from its source.
The study is being done with an aim to strengthen strengthen the safety of the health workers.
“The study, started ten days back, will try to find out whether the virus can travel in the air or not, and if it does, how far it can go. It is primarily intended to help the healthcare staff and personnel”, said CCMB Director Rakesh Mishra.
The study comes two months after more than 200 scientists wrote to the World Health Organisation (WHO), claiming there was evidence that the coronavirus was airborne.
CCMB will take samples from closed halls or other public places like a bank or a mall to assess the probability of the spread there, said Rakesh Mishra.
FACT: #COVID19 is NOT airborne.
The #coronavirus is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks.
To protect yourself:
-keep 1m distance from others
-disinfect surfaces frequently
-wash/rub your 👐
-avoid touching your 👀👃👄 pic.twitter.com/fpkcpHAJx7
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) March 28, 2020
He added, “We are going to see that how long, in terms of distance and in terms of time, the virus can stay in the air from its source, i.e. the patient. It is to find out how far and how long the virus can stay – whether for half-an-hour or for ten minutes and till what distance it can go.”
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Samples would be collected from different places like an intensive care unit (ICU) or a Covid-19 ward, using an air sampler in a hospital with varying distance from the patient such as two, four,or eight meters.
“The study will progress on the basis of factors like the availability of samples from hospitals. The first conclusion is possible to be reached in around ten days. The idea is to see what the safe distance is and how long the virus stays in the air. It will help us in understanding when and where the virus was the last present”, he continued.
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“Based on the first round of the results, further experiments can be conducted. If it is found that the virus can travel for two to three meters, then sampling can be done in places like a bank and other public places for maintaining safety”, the scientist said.
CCMB, under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, is a premier research organization in frontier areas of modern biology.