Hundreds of scientists say there is evidence that novel coronavirus in smaller particles in the air can infect people and are calling for the World Health Organization to revise recommendations, the New York Times reported on Saturday.
The WHO has said the coronavirus disease spreads primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are expelled when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or speaks.
In an open letter to the agency, which the researchers plan to publish in a scientific journal next week, 239 scientists in 32 countries outlined the evidence showing smaller particles can infect people, the NYT said.
For more coronavirus news, visit our dedicated page.
The WHO did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.
Whether carried by large droplets that zoom through the air after a sneeze, or by much smaller exhaled droplets that may glide the length of a room, the coronavirus is borne through air and can infect people when inhaled, the scientists said, according to the NYT.
However, the health agency said the evidence for the virus being airborne was not convincing, according to the NYT.
“Especially in the last couple of months, we have been stating several times that we consider airborne transmission as possible but certainly not supported by solid or even clear evidence,” Dr. Benedetta Allegranzi, the WHO’s technical lead of infection prevention and control, was quoted as saying by the NYT.
Coronavirus: WHO halts key COVID-19 treatment trials after failing to reduce deathsThe World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday that it was discontinuing its trials of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and combination HIV ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: Smoking linked to higher risk of severe COVID-19, death, says WHOThe World Health Organization says smoking is linked to a higher risk of severe illness and death from the coronavirus in hospitalized patients, ... Coronavirus
Number of daily new coronavirus cases exceeded 160,000 every day the past week: WHOThe world reported more than 160,000 new coronavirus cases every day over the past week, said World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom ... Coronavirus