The World Health Organisation (WHO), has confirmed that there is “emerging evidence” of airborne transmission of the Coronavirus following the publication of a letter on Monday, signed by 239 scientists that urged the agency to be more forthcoming about the likelihood that people can catch the virus from droplets floating in the air.
WHO Technical Lead for Infection Prevention and Control, Dr Benedetta Alleganzi said, said during a briefing yesterday, that the agency has discussed and collaborated with many of the scientists who signed the letter.
Dr Alleganzi said, “We acknowledge that there is emerging evidence in this field, as in all other fields regarding the COVID-19 virus and pandemic and therefore we believe that we have to be open to this evidence and understand its implications regarding the modes of transmission and also regarding the precautions that need to be taken”.
Infectious disease epidemiologist, Maria Van Kerkove with WHO’s Health Emergencies Program (HEP), said many of the letter’s signatories are engineers, “which adds to growing knowledge about the importance of ventilation, which we feel is very important.”
She also said the agency is working on a scientific brief summarising the current knowledge around transmission of the deadly virus, which should be available in the coming weeks.
WHO in general, emphasised more research is still needed on COVID-19 transmission.