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How far can Covid-19 travel in the air?


The Centre said on May 20, 2021 that aerosols, known to be one of the key transmission mode of the SARS-CoV-2, can travel in the air up to 10 meters.

The Centre has, hence, cautioned people to maintain social distance to prevent the transmission of the Covid-19 virus. Aerosols and cough droplets are both key transmission modes of the Covid-19 virus.

How far can cough droplets travel?

While aerosols can be carried in the air up to 10 meters, the cough droplets fall within 2 meters from an infected person.

What is the primary mode of virus transmission?

Any kind of saliva and nasal discharge in form of droplets and aerosols by an infected person while exhaling, talking, speaking, laughing, coughing, sneezing or singing is the primary mode of virus transmissions.

Can asymptomatic people spread Covid-19?

According to centre's advisory, an infected person who shows no symptoms can also transmit the virus. Hence, people should continue to wear a mask, double mask or an N95 mask.

How to decrease risk of transmission of COVID-19?

The centre's advisory highlights the importance of wearing, masks, maintaining social distance and keeping spaces well-ventilated to dilute the viral load.

Is COVID airborne?

While COVID-19 is not airborne, it can spread through air in closed and poorly ventilated spaces. As aerosols can travel up to 10 meters, they can infect the air and lead to transmission of the virus in poorly ventilated houses, offices and other closes spaces.

Hence, ventilation plays a very important role, it can decrease the risk of transmission from one infected person to the other.

What is a well-ventilated area?

A well-ventilated area is a space where this is improved directional airflow. In a similar way, as we dilute smells from the air by opening windows or doors or using the exhaust, ventilating spaces with improved directional airflow decrease the accumulated viral land in the air and reduce the risk of transmission.

Principal Scientific Advisor's office in a release has advised introducing outdoor air in offices, homes and larger public spaces. The release further stated that measures to improve ventilation in these spaces must be taken up on urgent priority in urban and rural areas alike.

The following tips have been recommended for ventilating homes, offices and large Centralized buildings:

•Simple strategic placement of fans.

•Opening windows and doors, even slight opening of windows can introduce outdoor air and improve the air quality inside.

•Introduction of cross ventilation and exhaust fans.

•Improving central air filtration or increased filtration efficiency in buildings with central air management systems.

•Use of gable fan systems and roof ventilators in offices, auditoriums, shopping malls and other closed public spaces.

•Frequent cleaning and replacement of filters.

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