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.