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Govt says aerosols can travel upto 10 metres

Marks a change in Covid control advice

Aerosols could be carried in the air for up to 10 metres and improving the ventilation of indoor spaces would reduce transmission, a government advisory on stopping the spread of COVID-19 said last week. The advisory, issued by the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, said there was need to remember the simple measures that could reduce the transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

“Ventilation can decrease the risk of transmission from one infected person to the other. Just as smells can be diluted from the air through opening windows and doors and using exhaust systems, ventilating spaces with improved directional air flow decreases the accumulated viral land in the air, reducing the risk of transmission. Ventilation is a community defense that protects all of us at home or at work,” it stated.

It recommended adding outdoor air in offices, homes and public spaces. Droplets and aerosols were the key transmission modes of the virus. While droplets fell up to 2 metres from an infected person, aerosols could travel up to 10 metres.

For workplaces, it recommended keeping doors and windows open while air-conditioners were on. Hospitals should ensure that vaccinations were carried out in well-ventilated areas and public transport like buses should keep windows open and use exhaust fans.

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