Patients infected with the novel coronavirus are seen at a makeshift hospital converted from an exhibition center in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Feb. 5, 2020. The makeshift hospital converted from an exhibition center in China's epidemic-hit Wuhan city began accepting patients Wednesday. The hospital can provide about 1,600 beds to infected patients. (Xinhua/Xiong Qi)

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) can be transmitted when someone was exposed to high concentrations of aerosol in a relatively closed environment for a long time, according to the country’s health authorities.

The respiratory droplets and close contact transmission are the major routes of the coronavirus infection, according to the latest version of the diagnosis and treatment plan issued by the National Health Commission and National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine on Wednesday.

The aerosol transmission was newly added in the plan, which has been updated to its sixth edition.

The aerosol transmission refers to the mixing of the virus with droplets in the air to form aerosols, which can float for long distances and cause infection after inhalation.

The new plan also suggested recovered patients to stay at home and avoid close contact with other people for 14 days to reduce the risk of infection with other pathogens.

Recovered patients shall visit a hospital for health checkups in the second and fourth weeks after being discharged, said the plan.

A total of 14,376 people had been discharged from hospital after recovery by the end of Tuesday, data from the commission showed.

COVID-19-infected patients in severe conditions may also suffer from “multiple organ failure,” added the plan. Enditem

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