Sun. Feb 28th, 2021

Chandigarh: Traces of virus found in air in hospitals: StudyCHANDIGARH: In a combined study by the centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, and the Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh, it has been found that there has been an airborne transmission of Covid-19 in hospitals where more symptomatic patients are inside a closed room for at least an hour. Also, the virus has been found to be present at more than 10-feet distance from patients in the hospital.

The study, “Detection of SARS-CoV-2 in the air from hospitals and closed rooms occupied by Covid-19 patients” is a preprint authored by Rakesh K Mishra, Shivranjani C Moharir, T Sharath Chandra, Sanjeev Khosla, Amit Tuli.

A total of 64 air samples were collected from three hospitals each from Hyderabad and Mohali. Air samples were collected from Covid-19 ICUs, nurse stations, Covid-19 wards, corridors, non-Covid-19 wards, PPE doffing areas, Covid-19 rooms, OP corridors, mortuary, Covid-19 casualty areas, non-Covid-19 ICUs and doctors’ rooms. Four out of 64 samples were positive for SARS-CoV-2 and 16 others showed traces of the virus.

The scientists inferred that the chance of picking up SARSCoV-2 in the air is directly related to the number of Covid-19 positive cases in a room, their symptomatic status and the duration of exposure. Demarcation of hospital areas into Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 areas is a successful strategy to prevent cross infections.

From Mohali, 23 air samples were collected from three hospitals (all tertiary care hospitals) between July and December. Among these, only one ICU sample was positive.

Moreover, the virus could not be detected in any of the non-Covid-19 areas, providing objective evidence that the strategy of separating hospital premises into Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 care areas is effective.

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