The second wave of the novel coronavirus, covid19 has wrecked extreme havoc across the country with lakhs of cases being registered each day across India.Also Read - Apple Postpones Plans to Go From Two Days to Three Days a Week in Office
A lot of debate has happened since the past year on how Covid-19 virus spreads. A report recently published in ‘The Lancet’ has stated that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is an airborne pathogen. Also Read - Covid or no COVID, Work From Home Policy Stays on Table For Several Companies | Full List
The paper written by six experts from the US, the UK and Canada has gone against the predominant scientific view which says that coronavirus spreads through smaller aerosols that remain suspended in the air or through fomites. The authors argue that there are “insufficient grounds for concluding that a pathogen is not airborne” while “the totality of scientific evidence indicates otherwise”. Also Read - India Creates A Badminton History By Bagging First Ever Thomas Cup Title After Defeating Indonesia, Health Benefits Of Playing Badminton
In fact, the authors of the paper have called for immediate modification of established COVID-19 safety protocols and have listed some reasons which back their claim that “SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted primarily by the airborne route.
- As per their first claim, “Superspreading events account for substantial SARS-CoV-2 transmission; The Skagit Choir outbreak, in which 53 people became infected from a single infected case. Notably, various studies have confirmed these events cannot be adequately explained by close contact or touching shared surfaces or objects.
- The next claim that the researchers have cited is demonstrating long-range transmission of the virus between people in adjacent rooms in hotels; people who were never in each other’s presence.
- The next thing that the authors of the study have argued is that 33 per cent to 59 per cent of all coronavirus cases can be attributed to the asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic transmission without the infected person coughing or sneezing.
- The authors state that viable SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in the air during laboratory experiments, where the pathogen stayed infectious in the air for up to 3 hours.
- The experts have also argued that the pathogen has been detected in air filters and buildings ducts in hospitals with COVID-19 patients in the, locations which could be reached only by aerosols.
- In fact, to claim proof, the authors cited studies conducted on infected caged animals that showed SARS-CoV-2 being transmitted via an air duct.
- In fact, the report reads that nosocomial infections (those that originate in a hospital) have been detected even in places where healthcare professionals wore PPE to protect themselves against the virus transmission through droplets.
- The authors wrote that the transmission of the pathogen is higher indoors compared to outdoors as the transmission is substantially reduced by indoor ventilation.
The researchers have stated that there is no study to their knowledge that provides strong or consistent evidence that disproves their hypothesis. While, the authors’ final argument was that there was limited evidence that supports other dominant routes of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, claiming Covid-19 as airborne.