It seems like the World Health Organization (WHO) and some scientists from around the world are in a disagreement about the novel coronavirus, six months into the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Photo : Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay)
239 scientists from around the world has sent a letter to the WHO saying that COVID-19 is airborne and changes should be made.
This started when 239 scientists from across 32 countries have signed a letter to the WHO to ask for a new set of safety recommendations for the public amid the coronavirus pandemic given that there is evidence that COVID-19 is airborne.
The group of scientists is planning to publish their letter in a scientific journal next week.
According to a report by the New York Times, the WHO said that the SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads primarily from one person to another via small droplets that come from the nose and the mouth when a person sneezes, talks, or coughs.
These droplets are apparently heavy and quickly sinks and, therefore, could not travel far from the host.
Nevertheless, these scientists were able to find evidence suggesting otherwise, saying that smaller particles could infect people, so they ask the agency to revise the health protocols.
One such evidence is a recent study from the University of Pennsylvania and the National Institutes of Health that was published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
According to ABC 6, the study did not specifically include SARS-CoV-2, or the novel coronavirus, or any other virus.
However, they did show how small respiratory droplets escape from the mouth via a laser light and how farther away they travel from the host, which could reach another person and infect them if the person has coronavirus.
“Speech droplets generated by asymptomatic carriers of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are increasingly considered to be a likely mode of disease transmission,” the researchers wrote.
Furthermore, the researchers also discovered that only a minute of speaking in a confined space could already generate at least 1,000 droplets that someone could easily inhale.
“This direct visualization demonstrates how normal speech generates airborne droplets that can remain suspended for tens of minutes or longer and are eminently capable of transmitting disease in confined spaces,” the study further says.
With this, several changes would have to be made, which is what these scientists have been trying to tell the WHO.
For example, better ventilation will be more important, and wearing masks indoors, even in events that require social distancing, will be mandatory.
Healthcare staff that cares for coronavirus patients will also need to wear N95 masks that can help filter even the smallest of particles to prevent them from getting infected with COVID-19 while they are working.
Some countries around the world already have these health protocols in place, including Singapore, and according to Straits Times, local health authorities believe that the country should keep their response to COVID-19 regardless of whether the scientists and the letter are right or wrong.
Nevertheless, it seems like the health agency is still unconvinced.
“Especially in the last couple of months, we have been stating several times that we consider airborne transmission as possible but certainly not supported by solid or even clear evidence,” Dr. Benedetta Allegranzi, the technical lead on infection control of the WHO.
The agency was asked for further comment on the letter but hasn’t provided one yet.
ⓒ 2018 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.