WHO said on Tuesday that it would investigate new evidence of coronavirus transmission in the air after an international group of scientists decided it could spread well over two meters.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that it will publish a new scientific report within a few days that will summarize the knowledge of how the virus can be transmitted and ensure that its guidelines remain in line with the evidence.
The two-meter physical distance directive was a key factor in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 538,000 people and infected over 11.6 million since the outbreak in China last December.
The new corona virus, however, can spread well over two meters in the air, a group of 239 international scientists said on Monday.
When an infected person exhales, they expel droplets. Droplets less than five microns in size can float in the air for several hours and move up to ten meters, they said.
Benedetta Allegranzi, WHO's technical lead for infection control, said at a virtual press conference: "We recognize that there is new evidence in this area."
"And that is why we believe we need to be open to this evidence and understand its implications for the transmission routes and also for the precautions that need to be taken," she said.
Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical director for COVID-19, said the UN health agency has produced a scientific report that consolidates the growing knowledge of the transmission.
"It is important that what we know fits into the guidance we have," she said.
"We will be issuing our letter in the coming days and that will outline everything we have in this area."
– Taken World Hostage: Tedros –
Meanwhile, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the pandemic showed no signs of slowing as 400,000 new cases were reported over the weekend.
It took the world 12 weeks to reach the first 400,000 COVID-19 cases.
"The outbreak is accelerating and we have clearly not reached the peak of the pandemic," said Tedros.
"While the number of deaths around the world appears to have decreased, some countries have actually made significant progress in reducing the number of deaths, while in other countries the number of deaths is still increasing."
The virus "took the world hostage," he concluded.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who caused great controversy over repeated disregard for containment measures and minimized virus risk, announced Tuesday that he had tested positive for the corona virus.
The WHO sent him her best wishes for a quick and full recovery.
"It brings the whole reality of this virus home to us: nobody is special," said WHO Emergency Director Michael Ryan.
"Whether we are prince or poor, we are equally vulnerable."
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)