Health expert cautions public to avoid enclosed areas with poor ventilation to prevent COVID-19 spread

Published October 7, 2020, 12:58 PM

by Richa Noriega

A health expert cautioned the public on Wednesday to avoid enclosed areas with inadequate ventilation to avoid the airborne transmission of COVID-19.


University of the Philippines Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology director Dr. Edsel Salvaña said that droplets are still the “major driver” of the COVID-19 transmission.

 “Ang karagdagang impormasyon ngayon is nangyayari din siya outside the hospital in specific situations lang. Ang major driver pa din ay yung tinatawag nating droplets na medyo malapitan talaga na 1 meter siguro 99.5 percent ng transmission (Additional information on the COVID-19 transmission is that it can also happen outside the hospital in specific situations only. The major driver is still the so-called droplets that are quite close to 1 meter, maybe 99.5 percent of the transmission),” Salvaña said in an interview on Unang Balita.

 “Kaya iwasan po natin ang areas na pangit ang ventilation at kung hindi po talaga maiiwasan, siguraduhin po natin na nakamask po tayo at may face shield (So let’s avoid areas with poor ventilation. And if we can’t really avoid it, make sure you are wearing a mask and a face shield),” he added.

According to the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US, the infection can be spread by exposure to the virus in small droplets and particles that can linger in the air for minutes to hours.

“There is evidence that under certain conditions, people with COVID-19 seem to have infected others who were more than 6 feet away. These transmissions occurred within enclosed spaces that had inadequate ventilation,” the CDC reported.

Salvaña said that elevators and settings in restaurants with air conditioning systems are a few examples of spaces that are prone to airborne transmission.

He noted that wearing a mask could still prevent the spread of COVID-19 transmission even in areas with poor ventilation.

“As long as nakamask ang mga tao very little ang virus na makakalabas at makakahawa (as long as people wear mask, there is a very little chance to infect other people),” he added.