Sep 24, 2020 News
– pleads with nation to also wear face mask in enclosed spaces
Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony is reinforcing the need for citizens to wear face masks in an enclosed environment to safeguard themselves against the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
In a live streamed interview, the Health Minister said that wearing face masks in public has become increasingly important given that the information on the novel coronavirus is still becoming available.
Dr. Anthony pointed to new findings which show that the virus can survive in the air, particularly in enclosed spaces for up to one hour.
“If you are in an enclosed space you need to make sure you wear your masks…. One of the things that you should be aware of is that new findings emerging from scientific literature that if somebody squeezes or coughs in an enclosed area it’s not just about the six feet distance we’re talking about; the virus can also travel a further distance because aerosols (particles that are very tiny, smaller than the cough droplet) can in some estimation travel 20 feet and remain suspended in the air for an hour. So if you are not protected with a mask, you can possibly become infected,” Dr. Anthony explained.
He noted that is the reason why indoor dining is prohibited.
“We want to ensure that there are fluid air currents when you are dining, so if you are dining please do so outside where it is less crowded.”
The Health Minister noted too that there are a lot of young persons who are becoming sick because of a lax approach to the restrictions among that demographic of people.
“Some are asymptomatic; some are mildly symptomatic but they are getting sick nonetheless and some have even lost their lives,” he said, adding that the precautions must be upheld to help keep everyone safe.
The warning comes even as the World Health Organization (WHO) changed its language to recognize that “short-range aerosol transmission, particularly in specific indoor locations, such as crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces over a prolonged period of time with infected persons cannot be ruled out.”
Previously, the organization announced that airborne transmission was unlikely to occur outside the hospital setting, where some procedures can generate super-small particles that linger in the air longer than large respiratory drops.
Additionally, on September 20 last, the US based Center for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance to say that the “main way the virus spreads is through droplets or small particles, “like aerosols.”
Meanwhile, as the pandemic has unfolded, contact tracing studies have shown that in China, an air conditioner pushed virus-laden air across three tables in a restaurant, infecting people seated at each one.
Researchers reviewed video from the restaurant and saw many of these patrons were more than six feet apart from one another, suggesting that the virus travelled through the air.
In Washington State, another study showed one person at a choir practice infected 52 of the other participants; it is believed that the singing could have led to more viruses lingering in the air.
Further, carefully controlled laboratory studies are also suggesting that under the right indoor conditions, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can float in the air and, to a certain degree, spread that way.
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