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WHO says no change to coronavirus airborne transmission policy

GENEVA/LONDON: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has not changed its policy on aerosol transmission of the coronavirus, it said on Monday after US health officials published a guidance draft by mistake, warning that it can spread through airborne particles.

Dr Mike Ryan, executive director of the UN agency's emergencies programme, said he would follow up with the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) after it said Covid-19 could spread through airborne particles that can remain suspended in the air and travel beyond 1.8m.

"Certainly we haven't seen any new evidence, and our position on this remains the same," he said in a briefing.

The CDC said a draft version of changes to its recommendations was posted in error on its website while it was in the process of updating its guidance.

It would re-post the guidance once it has completed the review.

The CDC has previously said the virus mainly spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets when a sick person coughs, sneezes or talks.

WHO's Dr Ryan said the agency still believes the disease is primarily spread through droplets, but that in crowded closed spaces with inadequate ventilation, aerosol transmission can occur. - REUTERS

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