So far the standard protocols or the basic rules/precautions to avoid the COVID-19 have been to sanitise hands and mainatining a two-meter social distance as per the government. However the safety protocol has been tweaked in the latest advisory by the office of Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India.
As per the latest advisory, now the SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, can be airborne for up to 10 metres which is equal to 33-feet. Previously, a six-foot distance was advised to be enough to prevent SARS-CoV-2 from infecting a person in contact with an infected one until both are protected by a mask.
Government’s top scientific advisor Professor K Vijayaraghavan said, “Infection transmission risk is much lower in outdoor areas, as virus particles get quickly dispersed," in “Stop the Transmission, Crush the Pandemic” guidelines.
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The new advisory emphasises a lot on indoor ventilation. “Better the ventilation, lower the potential for transmission,” the advisory said. Earlier, it was advised to focus on maintaining hand hygiene and wearing a mask which is still mandatory to follow.
The advisory suggests to keep windows and doors open so that indoor air is in circulation particularly when the ceiling fan is running. It also advises using exhaust fans for rooms with poor ventilation or using pedestal fans facing outdoors to improve indoor ventilation.
Besides, while travelling, it has advised to keep windows open in buses and trains wherever possible and introducing “roof ventilators while HEPA [high-efficiency particulate air ]/regular filters are recommended in offices, auditoriums, shopping malls” and also air-conditioned buses and trains.
In short the following points should be followed to avoid covid:
Keeping indoors well-ventilated
Wearing double masks, especially when interacting with people
Maintain physical distance up to 10 metres or 33 feet
Washing or sanitising hands regularly
Disinfect surfaces regularly to mitigate fomite infection
Isolating Covid-19 positive persons promptly and they should be given N-95 masks, if possible