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Current Affairs

Role of ventilation in preventing Covid-19 transmission

Date: 02 July 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Covid-19 infection has been spreading due to people's interaction. The role of ventilation in preventing spread is currently being studied.

 

Background

Covid-19 is a respiratory illness. It spread through breathing. The flow of air in indoor settings must be taken care.

 

Details

  • Droplets are emitted by infected individuals when they laugh, speak, cough, sneeze etc. The size of droplets may vary significantly.

  • Droplets of larger size may fall within a short time but aerosol particles stay for long and can also travel over longer distances.

  • Masks are the primary weapon against such droplets as they trap them and not allow them to infect the wearer.

  • Infection chances get reduced substantially if there is continuous flow of air. Normal winds can disperse pathogens from a given place.

  • Large gathering of people in a congested manner makes outdoor settings vulnerable for people as people are in closer proximity.

  • There should be minimum time spent in such settings. For that purpose, double masking should be adopted.

 

Threats due to indoor settings

  • Studies have shown that even a short conversation without masks can make an individual vulnerable.

  • The greater the number of people in the room, longer the time spent in the room and low level of ventilation makes such a setting a perfect recipe for infection.

 

Increasing ventilation

  • Major aspect should be increasing air flow in a given room. This can be through exhaust fans or pedestal fans near windows.

  • Ceiling fans only circulate the existing air in the room but do not add fresh ones. It cannot help in bringing fresh air.

  • Use of air conditioning should be avoided. It may be better to keep the windows and doors open for airflow.