Earlier, the global health agency had said that the SARS-CoV-2 virus mainly spreads through droplets emitting from the nose and mouth of infected persons.
Airborne transmission of coronavirus: WHO acknowledges emerging evidence of airborne transmission of coronavirus! Recently, over 200 scientists had reportedly written to the global nodal health agency World Health Organisation, citing evidence of airborne nature of SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19. They also urged the body to update their guidelines to tackle the pandemic accordingly. Now, the WHO on Tuesday acknowledged the “emerging evidence” regarding the spread of the coronavirus through air, according to a report by news agency Reuters.
At a news briefing, the COVID-19 pandemic technical lead of WHO Maria Van Kerkhove said that they have been discussing aerosol and airborne transmission as possible modes of the spread of the infection, the report said.
Earlier, the global health agency had said that the SARS-CoV-2 virus mainly spreads through droplets emitting from the nose and mouth of infected persons. It had added that the droplets fell to the ground quickly. However, in the open letter published on Monday, 239 scientists across 32 countries cited evidence, which according to them showed that floating virus particles could also infect people who breathe them in. These particles are also able to stay airborne for longer, the report said.
The report quoted one of the scientists who signed the letter Jose Jimenez as saying that they wanted WHO to acknowledge the evidence they had presented, adding that it was not meant to attack the nodal agency. He added that it was a scientific debate, but they felt the need to go public after WHO refused to hear the evidence after having multiple conversations with them, the report added.
In the briefing, WHO technical lead for infection prevention and control Benedetta Allegranzi said that the evidence of airborne transmission of COVID-19 was emerging, but it was not definitive. She added, as per the report, that the possibility of airborne transmission, especially in the conditions described, could not be ruled out. She further said that there is a need to gather and interpret the evidence, which they continue to support.
Van Kerkhove, according to the report, said that in the coming days, the global agency would release a brief summarizing the knowledge on the state of virus transmission.