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COVID-19 is not airborne, says WHO

Health workers must use appropriate PPE’

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared that the message spreading on social media that Coronavirus (COVID-19) is airborne is in incorrect.

The WHO headquarters in Geneva explained this in its official twitter account @WHO.

The agency said the virus that causes COVID-19 was mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks.

“These droplets are too heavy to hang in the air. They quickly fall on floors or surfaces.

“You can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are within one meter of a person who has COVID-19.

“You can be infected by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.’’

It, however, advised people to protect themselves by practicing physical distancing.

“To protect yourself, keep at least one meter distance from others and disinfect surfaces that are touched frequently.

“Regularly clean your hands thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose’’

According to the agency, drinking alcohol does not protect people against COVID-19 and can be dangerous.

“Frequent or excessive alcohol consumption can increase your risk of health problems,’’ WHO warned. In another development, the WHO has emphasised the appropriate use of all Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), not only masks, which requires correct and rigorous behaviour from healthcare workers.

The WHO made the recommendation in scientific brief on “Modes of transmission of virus causing COVID-19: implications for IPC precaution recommendations’’, posted on the agency’s website.

The agency said health workers should use PPE, particularly in doffing procedures and hand hygiene practices to protect themselves from contacting the virus.

“WHO also recommends staff training on these recommendations as well as the adequate procurement and availability of the necessary PPE and other supplies and facilities.

“WHO continues to emphasise the utmost importance of frequent hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and environmental cleaning and disinfection, as well as the importance of maintaining physical distances.

“The agency emphasises maintaining physical distances and avoidance of close, unprotected contact with people with fever or respiratory symptoms.’’

In addition, it said WHO would continue to recommend droplet and contact precautions for those people caring for COVID-19 patients and contact and airborne precautions for circumstances and settings in which aerosol generating procedures are performed.

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