Mounting evidence about the transmission of the coronavirus suggests that the 6-foot social distancing guidelines recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) are incorrect.
Three experts recently reported their research in the journal Science, saying the virus can remain airborne for hours and travel with air flow over distances greater than 6 feet. The researchers pointed out that the WHO recommendations are based on studies of respiratory droplets that were conducted in the 1930’s, before technology existed to analyze tiny aerosol particles like the ones that transmit COVID-19.
According to Fox News, the scientists said that wearing face masks is the best way to effectively reduce the transmission of the virus. Countries like Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea have all implemented universal masking and effectively contained the spread of COVID-19.
The researchers, Chia Wang of National Sun Yat-sen University in Taiwan, along with Kimberly Prather and Dr. Robert Schooley of the University of California, San Diego, explained that the main source of transmission of the disease is through tiny aerosol particles. They said that the WHO recommendation for 6 feet social distancing “is not likely enough under many indoor conditions where aerosols can remain airborne for hours, accumulate over time, and follow air flows over distances further than 6 ft.,” according to Fox News.
“It is particularly important to wear masks in locations with conditions that can accumulate high concentrations of viruses, such as health care setting, airplanes, restaurants, and other crowded laces with reduced ventilation,” they added.
According to Sky News, Hong Kong researchers demonstrated that wearing surgical masks can reduce the rate at which the virus is transmitted by a whopping 75%.
“The findings implied to the world and the public is that the effectiveness of mask-wearing against the coronavirus pandemic is huge,” said leading microbiologists Dr. Yuen Kwok-yung from Hong Kong University.
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