The World Health Organization (WHO) admitted today that there is new evidence that the new coronavirus is transmitted through the air and recommended measures such as avoiding closed spaces and wearing a mask.
After a group of 239 scientists warned of this possibility in an open letter, today at a virtual press conference, from the organization’s headquarters in Geneva, Benedetta Allegranzi, WHO specialist in infection prevention and control, said there was new evidence about the matter and that it is necessary to be attentive to understand the implications and precautions to be taken.
“Airborne transmission is one of the forms of transmission, it is important to take measures to prevent this transmission. We will give more information as soon as it is available, ”said Maria Van Kerkhove, an epidemiologist and one of those responsible at WHO for the fight against the pandemic of the new coronavirus, which causes the covid-19 disease.
Benedetta Allegranzi stressed that it is necessary to understand the behavior of the virus in this form of transmission and suggested that closed spaces with crowds of people be avoided, recommending “adequate ventilation” and the use of a mask if this ventilation is not possible.
At the usual WHO press conference, which starts this week only on Monday and Friday, the organization’s director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, began by pointing out that the epidemic is accelerating in the world, having registered new 400,000 cases in the last weekend alone, although the number of daily deaths has not increased and appears to have stabilized.
“The outbreak is clearly accelerating and we have not yet reached the peak of the pandemic,” said the official, reaffirming the negative effects that the pandemic had on the distribution of AIDS drugs, as well as on the prevention of the disease, for example due to the scarcity of condoms.
Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO health emergency program, explained regarding the numbers of covid-19 contagions and deaths that in April there were an average of 6,000 deaths per day, which rose to an average of 5,000 in May, which remains with some stability, despite the increase in the number of infections.
There is currently an average daily number of new infections of around 200,000. WHO experts attribute the lowest number of deaths to actions in some countries to protect the most vulnerable populations, such as people living in nursing homes.
The covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than 538,000 deaths and infected more than 11.64 million people in 196 countries and territories, according to a report by the French agency AFP.
Portugal accounts for at least 1,629 deaths associated with covid-19 in 44,416 confirmed cases of infection, according to the latest bulletin from the Directorate-General for Health (DGS).
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