The office of Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India has reportedly released an advisory on stopping the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The advisory given by Professor K. Vijay Raghavan highlights the importance of well-ventilated places. He says that well-ventilated spaces dilute the viral load of infected air in poorly ventilated spaces like houses, offices etc. Proper ventilation can reduce the risk of virus transmission from one infected person to another.
According to reports, the advisory explains the way ventilation can reduce the chances of an infection. Just like opening doors, windows and using exhaust systems can reduce the effect of foul smells, in a similar way, ventilating spaces with improved directional airflow decrease the risk of transmission.
Introducing outdoor air at enclosed workplaces, homes and larger public places is advised because ventilation is a community defence that protects all of us at home or at work. It is important to note that cross-ventilation helps in and exhaust fans play a very crucial role in decreasing the spread of the infection. Cross ventilation can be done by simple strategic placement of fans and opening windows to improve the air quality inside.
In buildings with central air-management systems where enhanced outdoor ventilation options are limited, improving central air filtration is necessary. In bigger public places like malls and auditoriums, gable fan systems and the use of roof ventilators are recommended. Improved air quality can also be achieved by frequent cleaning and replacement of filters.
The primary mode of transmission of the virus is saliva and nasal discharge in the form of droplets and aerosols from an infected person through laughing, coughing, sneezing, singing, talking, exhaling etc. People who are asymptomatic also transmit the virus to other people. Hence, wearing masks, double masks or N95 masks is extremely important to prevent transmission.
The Coronavirus infects a human host because it can multiply. In the absence of a host, the rate of the infection will decrease eventually. Therefore, stopping the virus from spreading from person to person will decrease the infection rate to an extent where the disease will eventually die.
The advisory stated, “This can be achieved only with the support and cooperation of individuals, communities, local bodies and authorities. Use of masks, ventilation, distancing, and sanitation. the battle against the virus can be won.”