The researchers understand that one reason why public authorities refuse to acknowledge the possibility of airborne transmission is because they are having a hard time in “detecting” the virus in the air. After all, successfully making a study about it requires deep knowledge in the complicated principles of airflow.
The problem is the long sampling times for the studies are quite impractical. Additionally, the microbiologists who typically collect the samples are often not experts in airflow dynamics.
However, they reiterated that it’s only possible to take the necessary precautions if the national bodies responsible for the management of the pandemic acknowledge the probability of airborne transmission.
WHO on the Airborne Transmission Route of COVID-19
Despite the urging from various scientists, Dr. Benedetta Allegranzi of WHO stands by their previous claims. They stated that although they support the possibility of the airborne transmission route of COVID-19, “it is not supported by solid or even clear evidence”.
However, they also agree that airborne transmission is possible during hospital treatment or procedures that produce aerosols, like:
- Endotracheal intubation
- Turning a patient to prone position
- Open suctioning
- Disconnecting the patient from a ventilator
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
If the Airborne Transmission Route of COVID-19 is True, What Can We Do?
While there is no “incontrovertible proof” about the possibility of airborne transmission route of COVID-19, there is also no evidence to suggest that aerosols are not infective.
Because of this, scientists are pushing for the “precautionary principle.” The precautionary principle is the idea that while we still don’t have enough evidence for airborne transmission, we should still assume the worst and apply the best possible protection against the virus.
While we fully understand the importance of handwashing and face masks, we could still do things to lower our risk of contracting the virus. And that is to avoid enclosed spaces and crowded places as much as possible and improve indoor ventilation at home and work.
A growing number of scientists believe that the airborne transmission route of COVID-19 is possible, especially in enclosed and crowded places.
The WHO still urges for more evidence and investigation and still maintain that COVID-19 is mostly transmitted via contact and droplet transmission.
However, if you can avoid it, avoid crowded and enclosed spaces with poor ventilation. It’s better to be extra careful as we await more research that will help us better understand COVID-19.
Learn more about COVID-19 here.