Coronavirus was found in air samples in Covid-19 wards of hospitals, which could be transiently air-borne, a study by Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTech) suggests.
The statement from the CCMB said that the chances of picking up SARS-CoV-2 in air is directly related to the number of Covid patients in the room, their condition and the duration of exposure.
The study, which is yet to be peer-reviewed, said that when the Covid-19 patients spend longer in a room, the virus is found in air for more than two hours, even further than two metres from the patient.
Whereas, in the case of asymptomatic patients, the study suggests that the virus does not spread from where they have been seated in the room, unless there is a perceived air flow due to a fan or AC.
The study was collated after the scientists worked at three hospitals in Hyderabad and Chandigarh. The researchers used air sampler that can collect virus particles and later it was tested using RT-PCR, CCMB said.
CCMB director Rakesh Mishra reiterated the importance of Covid preventive guidelines to tackle the virus.
“All these findings do show that the coronavirus can stay in air for some time… If we ensure that we follow hygiene protocols such as regular hand washing, using masks effectively and preventing symptomatic people from public mixing, we can start getting back to normalcy more comfortably,” he reportedly said.