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Novel coronavirus can travel up to 4 metres in air, says research. Know doctors' opinions

Novel coronavirus can travel up to 4 metres or 13 feet, said the research based on aerosol transmission.

India TV Lifestyle Desk Written by: India TV Lifestyle Desk
New Delhi Updated on: April 13, 2020 16:30 IST
coronavirus

Aerosol transmission is when the fine droplets of the virus become suspended and remain airborne for several hours.

While the entire world has come to a standstill in the wake of coronavirus, new research in China's Wuhan, the epicentre of the pandemic, has triggered fear. According to research conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, novel coronavirus can remain active in the air for long hours. This research has further raised question on the idea of social distancing which has been adopted across the globe. A panel of doctors from China-America have addressed all your doubts on India TV.

What does the research say?

The researchers, led by a team at the Academy of Military Medical Sciences in Beijing tested air samples from an intensive care unit and a general COVID-19 ward at Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan between February 19 and March 2. 40 samples were collected out of which 14 were tested positive. Air samples were found to be 35 per cent COVID-19 positive. In the research, it was found that the virus was present on the bed, dustbin, mouse, shoes of healthcare workers and even on doors. Novel coronavirus can also travel up to 4 metres or 13 feet, said the research based on aerosol transmission.

Airborne threat?

Aerosol transmission is when the fine droplets of the virus become suspended and remain airborne for several hours, unlike cough or sneeze droplets that fall to the ground within seconds. Its size is around 5 mili micrometre. Virus-laden aerosol can remain active for around 30 minutes in the air.

Dr. Sanjeev Chaubey from China said that the behaviour of the virus differs from surface to surface. This is why one needs to be extra cautious and alert. Every day, there's new research regarding COVID-19. Hence, currently, it is difficult to understand the virus completely. The guidelines that are being followed by India are enough. Changing it all of the sudden may trigger panic, added the doctor.

Doctor Surendra Purohit from America said that the research has proved that the virus remains active around the infected person for long hours. In fact, even dustbin and doors are infected.

According to doctor Padma Srivastava from AIIMS, people should be careful about their hygiene and cleanliness of their surrounding as the virus is known to survive on different surfaces for long hours. Doctor M K Sen added that the virus found on the shoes of healthcare workers emphasises that staying at home and maintaining social distancing are the only things that can help us break the chain.

However, according to World Health Organisation, "In the context of COVID-19, airborne transmission may be possible in specific circumstances and settings in which procedures or support treatments that generate aerosols are performed".

 

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