WHO is downplaying risks of coronavirus airborne transmission: scientists

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Some 239 scientists in 32 countries say the coronavirus is an airborne disease that can linger in tiny droplets to infect people indoors, according to a report dated July 4 in the New York Times.

The report states that a scientific journal will publish the researchers' open letter in the coming days.

According to the WHO's guidelines, COVID spreads mainly by contact and airborne transmission of the virus only happens during medical procedures that create aerosols.

Yet, dissenting experts believe the virus could transmit via much smaller droplets that could carry the virus to longer distances.

The letter's co-signer Lindsey Marr told the New York Times that the WHO's guidelines are based on experiments at hospital rooms where good airflow and lower virus volumes prevailed.

According to the Guardian, documented outbreaks at meatpacking plants suggest these studies underestimate the virus's ability to survive in typical indoor conditions.

The New York Times reports that the new study would mean institutions should use powerful air filters, virus-killing UV lights, and face masks to prevent indoor transmission.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Coronavirus could be an airborne disease
2. Virus could spread in smaller droplets that travel further than WHO acknowledges
3. WHO guidelines based on hospital experiments with better-than-normal airflow
4. Filters, UV lights and face masks could be needed to prevent virus spread indoors

VOICEOVER (in English):

"According to the New York Times, 239 scientists in 32 countries say the coronavirus is an airborne disease that can linger in tiny droplets to infect people indoors, in a report dated July 4."

"The New York Times states a scientific journal will publish the researchers' open letter in the coming days."

"According to the WHO's guidelines, COVID spreads mainly by contact and airborne transmission of the virus only happens during medical procedures that create aerosols."

"Yet, dissenting experts believe the virus could transmit via much smaller droplets that could carry the virus to longer distances."

"The letter's co-signer Lindsey Marr told the New York Times that the WHO's guidelines are based on experiments at hospital rooms where good airflow and lower virus volumes prevailed."

"According to the Guardian, documented outbreaks at meatpacking plants suggest these studies underestimate the virus's ability to survive in typical indoor conditions."

"The New York Times reports that the new study would mean institutions should use powerful air filters, virus-killing UV lights, and face masks to prevent indoor transmission."


SOURCES: The New York Times, The Guardian, WHO
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/04/health/239-experts-with-one-big-claim-the-coronavirus-is-airborne.html
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/05/who-underplaying-risk-of-airborne-spread-of-covid-19-say-scientists
https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/WHO-2019-nCoV-IPC-2020.4