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COVID-19: Switch Off Air Conditioning to Stop Airborne Spread – Expert

An expert told The Telegraph that air conditioning units that only used recirculated air, could aggravate the spread of coronavirus particles if someone infected is in the room.

Dr Shaun Fitzgerald, a fellow at the Royal Academy of Engineering, said there are two types of air conditioning units – one that takes air from outside and the other recirculating the air inside.

He said the one that recirculates the air could be responsible for exacerbating the airborne spread of the virus particles even if there is social distancing.

“The recommended strategy now, if you have one of these split units, is to throw the window open and sacrifice your desire for a cold or cooler environment.

“If there is a modicum of wind it will move the air around. If you can’t open a window, turn the unit off,” Dr. Fitzgerald said.

Airborne Transmission

A group of more than 200 scientists wrote an open letter to the World Health Organisation urging it to recognise airborne transmission of the virus.

The letter said more emphasis should be on ensuring buildings have proper ventilation and are less crowded to stop the spread of the virus.

On Thursday, July 9, the WHO released a scientific brief that acknowledged emerging evidence of airborne transmission of COVID-19.

The brief said crowded places with little or no ventilation and people shouting could be a perfect environment for the airborne spread of the virus.

Medical doctors, as a result, urge people to stay away from restaurants, nightclubs, places of worship and other places that people speak loudly and have no proper ventilation.


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Aliyu Dahiru

Aliyu Dahiru Aliyu is a researcher with expertise in areas such as fact-checking and insecurity. He was a research programs officer at the CDD West Africa and Tech. Officer at CITAD. He has contributed to CNN, BBC, etc.

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