There have been growing but legitimate concerns about the possibility of coronavirus transmission via AC, coolers and fans. Earlier, the World Health Organization (WHO) had said that there isn’t enough evidence to claim that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread via air and that it is primarily spread through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. However, only recently WHO said that there were “emerging evidence” that points To the airborne transmission of coronavirus. In a journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, an international group of 239 scientists appealed to “national and international bodies” including the World Health Organization, to recognize this potential for airborne spread. This now brings us to another important point: How can we prevent transmission of coronavirus via AC, coolers and fans? With summers taking over, the fear of coronavirus transmission via AC, fans and coolers has been grappling people’s mind. But there are ways you can prevent yourself from getting infected via the cooling machines.
A few studies have pointed out that air conditioning may help the spread of COVID-19. While more research in the area is needed, Chinese scientists published a study that ran a commentary on the results of their investigation of a cluster of COVID-19 cases linked to the same restaurant. However, the centre had earlier released an advisory related to the usage of AC amid the coronavirus pandemic. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
The temperature of the home-run AC should be between 24-30 degrees Celcius
The humidity should be between 40-70 per cent.
“Recirculation of cool air by room air conditioners must be accompanied by outdoor air intake through slightly open windows and exhaust by natural exfiltration.”
“Too much humidity leads to higher levels of dust mites and fungi, two of the worst culprits for indoor allergy sufferers. Mold and fungi are known to exacerbate respiratory conditions such as asthma”.
You must keep the rooms ventilated even when ACs are not running. “As an extra precaution the frequency of service can be increased,” said the advisory.
Here are a few additional guidelines that you must keep in mind:
Keep your air filters clean
Ventilation is a MUST.
Inspect and clean the indoor unit coils of the AC.
Keep your toilet and kitchen exhaust fans on.
If you live in a buildings without mechanical ventilation systems, please use openable windows.
electric fans may have the potential to circulate the virus in the house with an infected person. However, it is also better to be safe than sorry. The government’s advisory suggests keeping the “windows partly open while using electric fans.” They have urged to switch on your exhaust fan to exhaust air for better ventilation.
Same with coolers, it is important that you have an exhaust fan on while you are using coolers for proper ventilation.
239 scientists believe that handwashing and social distancing are appropriate for droplet precautions but insufficient to provide protection from virus-carrying respiratory micro-droplets released into the air by infected people had written an open letter to WHO. They suggested preventive measures to prevent airborne transmission of the virus. Here are a vital measure they suggested:
1. Provide sufficient and effective ventilation (supply clean outdoor air, minimise recirculating air) particularly in public buildings, workplace environments, schools, hospitals, and aged care homes
2. Supplement general ventilation with airborne infection controls such as local exhaust, high-efficiency air filtration, and germicidal ultraviolet lights
3. Avoid overcrowding, particularly in public transport and public buildings
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 28, 2020 03:58 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).