Avoid corona with ventilation, double mask: Govt.

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Dr Vijay Raghavan, India's Principal Scientific Advisor

 Rohit Shishodia

It has been pointed out in the advisory that lack of windows and cross ventilation creates excessive viral load and increases chances of infection inside poorly ventilated spaces.

“Let outdoor air flow in to displace indoor air. This directional air flow and improved ventilation can lower the potential for infection from accumulated viral load in closed spaces. Better the ventilation, lower the potential for transmission,” reads the advisory -- Stop the Transmission, Crush the Pandemic.

The advisory emphasizes about fan placement. Placing of fans should be avoided in a way that could potentially cause contaminated air to flow directly to someone else. Installing an exhaust fan is important. People should keep exhaust fans running if the windows and doors are shut.

The advisory adds that one should add an exhaust fan or turn a pedestal fan into an exhaust fan by turning it to face outdoors to create the ideal air flow for maximum protection from indoor infection.

In work places, people should keep windows and doors ajar while the ACs are running to bring in clean air and dilute virus particles.

In transmission of the virus in public places and in houses, the advisory reads that even one infected person showing no symptoms can release enough droplets to create a “viral load” that can infect many others. Symptoms can take up to two weeks to appear in an infected person, during which time they may continue to transmit the virus to others. Some people may never show symptoms and still transmit the virus.

According to the advisory, infection risk is much lower in outdoor areas, as virus particles get quickly dispersed. Just as smells can be diluted by ventilation, the dangerous concentration of the virus can be reduced by ensuring that outdoor air flows in.

Droplets fall within two meters from an infected person. Saliva and nasal discharge in form of aerosols can be carried in the air up to 10 meters.

Frequent cleaning of high contact points such as door handles, light switches, tables, chairs and the floor with disinfectants, like bleach and phenyl, can remove the virus contamination from surfaces.

The advisory has strongly recommended wearing a double mask. It stresses that a double layer cotton homemade mask is better than none. N95 mask offers maximum protection. One should fit snugly on the face and leave no air pockets around the nose or chin. Cloth masks should be washed and sun-dried each day.

As per the advisory, one should wear a surgical mask, then wear another tight fitting cloth mask over it. If a person does not have a surgical mask, wear two cotton masks together. Ideally a surgical mask should be used only once, but when pairing, it can used  up to five times by leaving it in a dry place for seven days after one use (ideally give it some sun exposure) and then reuse as a double layer. Surgical masks should never be washed.

 


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