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WHO Experts Admit COVID-19 Can Spread Through Air


People gather in Soho, as restrictions are eased following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain July 4, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Experts at the World Health Organization (WHO) Tuesday acknowledged there is growing evidence the coronavirus can spread through the air and said they are preparing a brief on the subject.

At the U.N. agency’s regular briefing in Geneva, WHO technical committee head Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove said the WHO was contacted in April by a group of than 200 scientists who have called for the world body and others to acknowledge that the coronavirus can spread in the air.

Kerkhove said her committee is working with the group and are producing a scientific brief to summarize what they know about the nature of air-borne transmission of virus.

The WHO coordinator of infection prevention and control, Professor Benedetta Allegranzi, noted that while there is emerging evidence about the airborne nature of the virus, it is not definitive.

Both officials said that the evidence does suggest it takes a comprehensive prevention package to stop COVID transmission, including physical distancing and the wearing of masks, particularly inside.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stressed the pandemic continues to accelerate and said it has not yet reached its peak. He noted that it took 12 weeks for the world to reach 400,000 COVID cases, and this past weekend there were more than 400,000 cases across the globe.

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