A researcher of CapitalBio Corporation shows a virus nucleic acid detection kit for six respiratory pathogens on March 10. Six respiratory pathogens, including the COVID-19, can be detected simultaneously within one and a half hours, requiring samples of only respiratory droplets. (Photo by Jiang Wenjie, People’s Daily Online)
A researcher of CapitalBio Corporation shows a virus nucleic acid detection kit for six respiratory pathogens on March 10. Six respiratory pathogens, including the COVID-19, can be detected simultaneously within one and a half hours, requiring samples of only respiratory droplets. (Photo by Jiang Wenjie, People’s Daily Online)

A Nigerian health expert on Wednesday said there are increasing evidences to the fact that the novel coronavirus is also airborne, and urged the government to review its national COVID-19 guidelines.

Solomon Chollom, a virologist based in the city of Jos, central-north Nigeria, told reporters in Abuja that the World Heath Organization (WHO) is considering the veracity of several research claims and was beginning to consider making pronouncement in this regard.

The WHO said in a scientific brief that people, who spend time in crowded settings with poor ventilation, run the risk of being infected by the coronavirus as the droplets circulate throughout the air in indoor gatherings.

According to Chollom, in the meantime, the body has advised that buildings where people gather in large numbers for a long time and where they talk, sing or speak must be well ventilated to reduce the risk of populating and contaminating the air with the virus.

“Places like worship centers, social centers and schools are thus the major concern,” he said.

The virologist said if the world health body eventually makes the pronouncement in this regard, then Nigerians would have to review its national COVID-19 guidelines to address the emerging realities.

Chollom said that these would includes the possible introduction of the use of radiations like ultraviolet rays to decontaminate or sterilize public places and residents occasionally.

According to him, major entrances to public places like schools, hospitals and worship places must have decontaminating cabinets at their entrances and exits in addition to the existing measures of regular hand washing, use of face masks and social distancing, among others. Enditem

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