COVID-19 is airborne; Masks still essential to avoid the spread of virus, Collaborative Study reveals

In a collaborative study, it is found that, novel Coronavirus is airborne and you could contract it just by breathing infected air, even when you maintain social distancing. The findings of the study are published in the Journal of Aerosol Science (access here)

The virus could be frequently detected in air around COVID19 patients in ICU as well as non-ICU sections of hospitals, suggesting that patients shed the virus in air irrespective of the severity of infection. It also found viruses in air that could spread over long distances.

“Our results show that in closed spaces, Coronavirus can stay in the air for some time. We found that the positivity rate of finding the virus in air was 75 per cent when two or more Covid patients were present in a room, in contrast to 15.8 per cent when one or no patients occupied the room,” said Dr. Shivranjani Moharir, one of the scientists involved in the study.

“As we are back to conducting in-person activities, air surveillance is a useful means to predict infection potential of a spaces like classrooms, meeting halls. This can help refine strategies to control the spread of infections,” said Dr. Rakesh Mishra, Director, TIGS

The study was conducted by

CSIR – Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad
CSIR – Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh
Tata Institute for Genetics and Society, Bengaluru
Durgabai Deshmukh Hospital, Hyderabad
ESI Hospital and Medical College, Hyderabad
COVID-19 Nodal Centre, Hyderabad

Read media coverage below–experiment.html