GENEVA: Airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, can occur during medical procedures that generate aerosols, the WHO has said.
The UN agency further said that it has been evaluating whether SARS-CoV-2 may also spread through aerosols in the absence of aerosol generating procedures.
The World Health Organisation on Thursday released new guidelines on the transmission of the novel coronavirus.
In its latest transmission guidance, the WHO acknowledged that some outbreak reports related to indoor crowded spaces have suggested the possibility of aerosol transmission, such as during choir practice, in restaurants or in fitness classes.
The brief maintained that “the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 spreads through contact with contaminated surfaces or close contact with infected people who spread the virus through saliva, respiratory secretions or droplets released when an infected person coughs, sneezes, speaks or sings.”
WHO stressed that the virus may be spread by people who do not have symptoms: “Infected people can transmit the virus both when they have symptoms and when they don’t have symptoms,” the agency said.
Earlier, the WHO said there was evidence emerging of airborne transmission of coronavirus.
The new WHO guidelines suggest that people should avoid crowds and ensure good ventilation in buildings, in addition to social distancing, and encourage masks when physical distancing is not possible.