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If coronavirus is airborne, what should you do to stay safe?

Scientists say people entering crowded indoor places, pubs, churches, movie theatres and religious congregations, are most vulnerable to getting infected. It has been found that droplets or aerosols are spread when people talk or sing

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | July 9, 2020 | Updated 12:19 IST
If coronavirus is airborne, what should you do to stay safe?
A virus becomes airborne if it’s transmitted via air

Coronavirus pandemic is continuing its deadly march across the world, ravaging economies and causing irreparable loss to human lives. Though scientists continue to understand the virus better, they are worried about new findings. After scientists recently concluded that coronavirus may be airborne, contrary to the WHO's earlier observation that it spreads through touch or from surface, questions have risen to what people can do to protect themselves from the virus that may be floating in the air.

Scientists say people entering crowded indoor places, pubs, churches, movie theatres and religious congregations, are most vulnerable to getting infected. It has been found that droplets or aerosols are spread when people talk or sing.

Are aerosols or droplets different?

Scientists say aerosols and droplets differ in sizes only -- droplets are heavy but aerosols can stay in the air as they are light. Droplets fall quickly on surface due to their heaviness, but aerosols are released even when infected or infected asymptomatic people breathe, though their impact may not be equal to droplets.

When does virus become airborne?

A virus becomes airborne if it's transmitted via air. Though experts say coronavirus can't travel long distances, it can surely impact those inside a closed structure for up to three hours. People should avoid entering crowded indoor places as much as possible. For those running businesses or schools or nursing homes, extra arrangements have to be made to ensure proper ventilation by installing powerful air filters. The use of ultraviolet lights can also help reduce the risk of virus spread.

What can be done to save yourself from airborne virus?

Maintain physical distancing, it's important to maintain at least six-feet distance, as per the government guidelines. Wash your hands regularly and ensure there is proper ventilation if you work or live in such a facility. Try to minimise your engagement in closed structures like pubs or restaurants and go outdoors. If you can't avoid going indoors, keep windows and doors of a room open as much as possible.

Also read: What does 'coronavirus is airborne' mean? WHO Chief Scientist Dr Swaminathan explains

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