There are calls for office workers to wear face masks to stop the spread of coronavirus. A group of scientists have urged the World Health Organisation to look at the evidence of airborne transmission of Covid-19.
The World Health Organisation has been clear up to now – Covid 19 is spread through droplets that come out of your mouth when you sneeze or cough and fall onto surfaces.
But a group of more than 200 scientists want them to consider another form of transmission – through aerosols, which are produced when you speak or breathe out, and hang around in the air for hours.
They think the risk of airborne transmission in crowded, indoor settings like pubs, restaurants or offices is being underestimated by the WHO.
Professor John Wenger from UCC is one of the scientists who’s signed an open letter.
”Workers should wear masks in these environments because they are spending many, many, many hours in that location. For somebody that is going to the pub or the restaurent for an hour or a half or whatever it is, I think that would be ok as long as distancing is kept up.”
The W-H-O’s acknowledged there is growing evidence that Covid 19 can be spread through these tiny particles.
Here’s spokesperson Margaret Harris:
”The importance of this work is to understand that when you’re in a crowded space, when you’re in a place that is poorly ventilated and especially if you can’t seperate easily, that’s when we’re all concerned that there’s a higher chance of transmission.”
WHO officials say the evidence is preliminary and has to be assessed further.
More than 200 scientists have outlined evidence that they say shows the novel coronavirus can spread in tiny airborne particles, urging the @WHO to update its guidance. Read our story on what we know so far about airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2. https://t.co/903llcCp7A
— Scientific American (@sciam) July 7, 2020