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WHO confirms the airborne transmission of coronavirus based on ’emerging evidence’.

Image Credit: Reuters

The World Health Organization confirmed the airborne transmission of the virus.

This announcement was made after a letter submitted to WHO by 239 scientists from 32 countries. The scientists urged WHO to say the truth about the probability of catching the virus from droplets that are floating in the air.

The WHO technical leader for Infection Prevention and Control, Dr. Benedetta Alleganzi, said on Tuesday in a media briefing in Geneva, that WHO agrees with the scientists who signed the letter.

On the same day of the briefing, the US government took a decision to withdraw from the organization. Today, US submitted a notice that it shall withdraw on July 2021.

Dr. Alleganzi said, ‘ We acknowledge that there is emerging evidence in this field, as in all other fields regarding the COVID-19 virus and pandemic and therefore we believe that we have to be open to this evidence and understand its implications regarding the modes of transmission and also regarding the precautions that need to be taken.’

Maria Van Kerkove, an infectious disease epidemiologist said, ‘We have been talking about the possibility of airborne transmission and aerosol transmission as one of the modes of transmission of COVID-19, as well as droplet. We’ve looked at fomites. We’ve looked at fecal oral. We’ve looked at mother to child. We’ve looked at animal to human, of course as well.’

She also said that in the coming weeks the agency is going to brief the world about all the latest knowledge about the transmission of the virus.

Dr. Alleganzi said that more research is needed on the transmission of coronavirus.’So these are fields of research that are really growing and for which there is some evidence emerging but is not definitive.’

She added, ‘And therefore, the possibility of airborne transmission in public settings, especially in very specific conditions, crowded, closed, poorly ventilated settings that have been described cannot be ruled out. However, the evidence needs to be gathered and interpreted.’

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