Months into the pandemic, WHO finally acknowledges “emerging evidence” that COVID-19 can be airborne
The organization said that they have been talking about the possibility of airborne and aerosol transmission but evidence still needed to be reviewed
Jul 9, 2020
A day after 239 scientists wrote an open letter to the World Health Organization (WHO) claiming that COVID-19 is airborne, WHO finally confirmed that there is mounting evidence supporting this assertion.
Initially, WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned the public that the virus can only be transmitted through inhaling small droplets released from the mouth or nose of the infected or touching contaminated surfaces.
But scientists from 32 countries claimed otherwise. In an open letter published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, they urged the WHO to update its COVID-19 guidelines and acknowledge the evidence. “This is definitely not an attack on the WHO. It’s a scientific debate, but we felt we needed to go public because they were refusing to hear the evidence after many conversations with them,” said the University of Colorado chemist Jose Jimenez in an interview with Reuters.
“We acknowledge that there is emerging evidence in this field, as in all other fields regarding the Covid-19 virus and pandemic and therefore we believe that we have to be open to this evidence and understand its implications regarding the modes of transmission and also regarding the precautions that need to be taken,” Dr. Benedetta Bellaganzi, the WHO’s technical lead for infection prevention and control, explained in a media briefing.
Media briefing on COVID-19
Posted by World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday, July 7, 2020
According to the organization though, the possibility of airborne and aerosol transmission cannot be ruled out but the evidence still needs to be gathered, reviewed and interpreted.
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