Covid-19: Staying at home and want to use AC? Here’s what you need to know

A recent study in China suggested that air conditioning aided the transmission of coronavirus infection between people in a restaurant.
A man wearing a face mask looks out from a gate during lockdown to prevent the spread of new coronavirus in Hyderabad, on Saturday.(AP Photo)
A man wearing a face mask looks out from a gate during lockdown to prevent the spread of new coronavirus in Hyderabad, on Saturday.(AP Photo)
Updated on Apr 19, 2020 09:47 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

As coronavirus disease Covid-19 spreads rapidly, there is a barrage of information floating along with it on what should be used and what shouldn’t to check the spread of the disease.

Among such information is the use of air conditioners (ACs) - many on the internet and social media are claiming that use of ACs can lead to spread of the Sars-CoV-2 virus. But the government has taken upon itself to dispel all such misinformation.

The Press Information Bureau (PIB) has tweeted on is Fact Check handle that use of window AC if all right; the issue is with the central air conditioning system.

“As the mercury soars, here’s one more #PIBFactcheck. Claim : ACs should not be used to cool off in the heat, as they spread #Covid_19. Fact : It’s a little complicated. Window ACs are ok, but not central air-conditioning,” the PIB tweet said.

 

Since the window AC is used at home - basically a confined space - it is still okay to use. But the central air conditioning system has the potential to spread the virus to a much larger area in case a Covid-19 positive case is found.

A recent study in China suggested that air conditioning aided the transmission of coronavirus infection between people in a restaurant.

The study has been published in peer-reviewed Emerging Infectious Diseases journal published by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States.

It was conducted on 10 Covid-19 patients from three families who dined at the same restaurant in China’s Guangzhou. The first infected person - who had come from Wuhan - had lunch at the five-floor restaurant without windows on January 24, said the study, and members of other two families sat at neighbouring tables.

While the first patient experienced fever and cough the same day, the members of other families became infected by February 5.

The study concluded that the most likely cause of this outbreak was droplet transmission. Since droplets remain in the air only for short time and travel short distance, said the study, the strong airflow from the air conditioner could have propagated the droplets.

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Friday, December 03, 2021