WHO Is Warning Medical Personnel About “Airborne Precautions”

World Health Organization Director-General Tedroa Adhanom Ghebreyesus talking during a daily press briefing on COVID-19 in March 11, 2020. Source: Getty Image

According to a new study, COVID-19 is able to survive in the air for a certain time, and the WHO is concerned about “airborne precautions” for medical staff.

The study says that the virus can be transmitted through the air, and stay in the air in some contexts, based on factors including heat, and humidity.

The virus is able to transmit through water droplets or bits of liquid, and this happens mostly through coughing and sneezing. Aerosol-generating procedures that are done in health care facilities have been found out to be able to aerosolize these particles, making them stay in the air for some more time. WHO says that all medical personnel need to be informed about this finding, in order to create a safe and healthy environment for people. Health care workers will require to be extra conscious about the situation, and take preventive measures when dealing with procedures such as the above.

It was further explained by WHO that the COVID-19 is transmitted via contact with other people, droplets released to the environment through sneezing and coughing, as well as the particles on physical objects.

This study further carried out in different countries for the purpose of finding out the persistence of the virus in different environmental conditions. The focus is on ultraviolet lighting, humidity, and temperature, and the time duration the virus will live on a various surfaces like steel.

The data from the studies will be utilized by WHO in making adequate instructions available for the people to take effective precautionary measures. Moreover, WHO insists that medical personnel wear N-95 masks which are able to filter out 95% of particles, liquid or airborne.

The Director of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention explained that the virus can survive on metal surfaces including copper and steel for about two hours. However, it can survive longer than that on cardboard and plastic surfaces. Needless to say, ¾ of the physical objects that we use on a daily basis belong to these categories; ATMs, handrails, currency notes, credit cards, coins, doorknobs, bottles…. the list goes on. So, as it is repeatedly being said 24/7, keep washing your hands, avoid touching your face.

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