A group of 239 scientists representing 32 countries is reportedly preparing a letter asking the World Health Organization ( WHO ) to review its recommendations on the coronavirus.
According to the letter, the evidence supports that the disease is transmitted through the air.
Scientists are expected to publish an open letter with the request this week in a scientific journal, The New York Times published Sunday. The document is called to offer evidence to show that the smallest coronavirus particles can travel through the air to infect people.
The current position of the WHO is that COVID-19, the disease that generates the new coronavirus, is transmitted mainly through respiratory droplets that fall to the ground due to coughing or sneezing. The international agency has argued that the virus is transmitted through person-to-person contact and, to a lesser extent, through indirect contact with surfaces surrounding infected people.
There is a part of the scientific community that says the evidence shows that the virus can be transmitted through the air and can infect people who breathe it, the Times shared. Particles, they argue, can travel quickly after a sneeze, and some respiratory droplets can travel across a room, some scientists point out.
The airborne transmission of the new coronavirus would be an important factor in trying to curb infections and would make it essential to cover your face in the interior spaces, whether or not social distance is maintained. Health workers are also likely to require N95 masks that can filter out tiny particles of coronavirus if action is taken based on these scientists’ considerations.
Benedetta Allegranzi, WHO chief infection control officer told the Times that solid evidence on airborne transmission is still lacking, although she acknowledges that, “especially in recent months,” they have considered it “possible.”
This letter will appear at a time when parts of the world – the United States among them – have seen an increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations of COVID patients. The WHO registered more than 200,000 cases this Saturday, a new world record for new infections confirmed in a single day.