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August 3, 2020
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Evidence Indicates COVID-19 Might Be Airborne, Wear Face Masks, NCDC Tells Nigerians

The Nigeria Center for Disease Control has said new evidence indicates that the Coronavirus might be transmitted by air.

Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General of the agency, made this known during the COVID-19 Presidential Task Force briefing on Monday.

Ihekweazu said in the past research showed that the virus was transmitted through droplets only but new research was suggesting otherwise. 

He said, “Understanding the modes of transmission of any new virus is very critical for defining response strategies. For COVID-19 from the very beginning, our understanding based on other coronaviruses was spread primarily through droplets.

“Droplets are excretions from the respiratory tracts that can’t stay on in the air. They ultimately fall to the ground after a few minutes. However, as we have studied transmission, studied clusters of these infections, we saw increasing evidence from clusters of infections. Clusters’ transmissions did not seem to be enough to explain the clusters that we are seeing.

“Diseases that are commonly spread by what we call airborne infection are things like measles and influenza that can be suspended in the air and transmit over longer distances. Over the past few weeks, increasing evidence has emerged that in addition to droplet infections, we cannot rule out that airborne transmission is also possible as a mode of transmission of COVID-19.”

He called on Nigerians to wear face masks and strictly adhere to social distancing guidelines.

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