Vallabh Bhavan
Vallabh Bhavan

The government officials and employees posted at Vallabh Bhawan have raised concern over air conditioners and said they may spread COVID-19 infection.

A delegation of Mantralayeen Karamchari Sangh met chief secretary Iqbal Singh Bains on Saturday and discussed health risk they are exposed to in the office. They expressed concern over centrally air conditioned two new buildings of the secretariat.

“Studies show that centralised air conditioning aids in spreading coronavirus,” sangh president Sudhir Nayak said. “Our apprehensions were addressed by the secretary General Administration Department (GAD) Ashish Saxena,” he added.

The GAD secretary discussed chances of spread of coronavirus through central air conditioning system with the electrical engineer in Vallabh Bhawan in presence of sangh representatives. Electrical engineer MK Yadav said that if temperature is set above 24 degrees, there is no danger of corona spreading through ACs.

Nayak and GAD officials also discussed other facilities like availability of sanitizers and temperature guns at the entrance gates. All three buildings will be sanitized on Sunday from outside and inside.

According to city’s medical experts, the centralised air conditioning as in malls, hospitals and crowded places can aid in droplet transmission and thus increase the risk of COVID-19 infection. Gandhi Medical College pulmonary and chest diseases department head Dr Lokendra Dave said there should be proper ventilation in centrally AC buildings. At least 20% of floor area should be ventilated to maintain proper air exchange.

Such buildings should have HEPA air filters to improve their air quality and to rotate air in the rooms. “If this doesn’t happen, any afflicted person can spread infection to others. The direction of air flow from air conditioning ventilation can lead to droplet transmission,” he added.

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