Scientists who initially warned of contaminated surfaces, now defend the new coronavirus spreading, essentially, through inhaled droplets. There is little if any evidence that deep cleaning reduces the threat in closed environments
Around the world, workers lather, clean and fumigate surfaces with one goal in mind: to fight SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus that has been plaguing the world for almost a year.
However, scientists are now claiming that there is increasingly little or no evidence that contaminated surfaces can spread the virus. In crowded enclosed spaces like airports, they argue, the coronavirus that is exhaled by infected people and remains in the air is a much greater threat.
Washing your hands with soap and water all the time – or disinfectant in the absence of soap – is still being encouraged to prevent the spread of the virus. But rubbing surfaces does little to mitigate the threat of SARS-CoV-2, especially in closed environments, conclude experts who are beginning to urge health officials to focus on improving ventilation and filtering air in closed spaces.
“In my opinion, a lot of time, energy and money is being wasted on disinfecting surfaces and, more importantly, diverting attention and resources from preventing airborne transmission,” said Kevin P. Fennelly, a specialist in respiratory infections at the National Institute United States of America, The New York Times.
Some experts, for example, suggest that Hong Kong, a city of 7.5 million people and a long history of outbreaks of infectious diseases, is a studie case for the type of surface cleaning that gives people a false sense of security. about the new coronavirus.
The Hong Kong Airport Authority even used a “full-body disinfection channel” similar to a telephone booth to spray airport personnel in quarantined areas. The stand – which the airport says is the first in the world and is being used in tests – is part of an effort to make the installation a “safe environment for all users”.
These displays can be comforting to the public, as they seem to show that the authorities are taking the fight against Covid-19 seriously. But Shelly Miller, another expert heard, notes that the stand made no practical sense from the point of view of infection control.
Viruses are emitted by respiratory droplets – talking, breathing, screaming, coughing, singing and sneezing. And disinfectant sprays are generally made of toxic chemicals that can significantly affect indoor air quality and human health, added the aerosol specialist at Colorado University in Boulder, USA.
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