The World Health Organisation's South East Asia division, on March 23, said that COVID-19 did not spread airborne. However, it said that there has been a reported possibility of such transmissions in enclosed spaces and with prolonged exposures in hospitals. This comes as the deadly virus has infected 3,66,880 people and killed 16,098 people across the globe.
Airborne spread has not been reported for #COVID-19 #coronavirus.— WHO South-East Asia (@WHOSEARO) March 23, 2020
Chinese authorities reported possibility of aerosol transmission in a relatively closed environment with prolonged exposure like ICUs & CCUs in hospitals, but more epid data analysis is needed to understand this.
Explaining the transmission further, Dr Poonam Khetarpal Singh, regional director, WHO Southeast Asia said that cases of airborne spread have not been reported yet, however, based on the information that they have received and with their experience with other coronaviruses, COVID-19 appeared to spread mostly through respiratory droplets and close contact. Speaking further she said, that it was why WHO recommends hand and respiratory hygiene.
Meanwhile, WHO on March 23 lauded Indian government's decision to impose a lockdown in 75 affected districts of India besides suspending trains, buses and metros. According to Dr Roderico Ofrin- the Regional Emergencies Director, WHO South-East Asia, India's response to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus was "comprehensive" and "robust". He opined that the lockdown and suspension of public transport services reflected India's resolve to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr.Ofrin noted that these measures could help slow down virus transmission. At the same time, he stressed that this needed to be complemented by effective steps to isolate, test, treat and trace.
Dr. Roderico Ofrin remarked, “India has been rolling out a comprehensive and robust response to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19. Its latest announcements related to quarantine and social distancing measure, including recent lockdown of 75 affected districts, suspension of rail, inter-state bus services, and metro services are initiatives of unprecedented scale and reflect the country’s resolve to prevent the spread of the pandemic which is spreading globally at an alarming rate. These measures can help slow down virus transmission along with the continued effective measures being taken to isolate, test, treat and trace."