After hundreds of experts urged the World Health Organization to review mounting scientific research, the agency acknowledged on Tuesday that airborne transmission of the coronavirus may be a threat in indoor spaces.
W.H.O. expert committees are going over evidence on transmission of the virus and plan to release updated recommendations in a few days, agency scientists said in a news briefing.
The possibility of airborne transmission, especially in “crowded, closed, poorly ventilated settings, cannot be ruled out,” said Dr. Benedetta Allegranzi, who leads the W.H.O.’s committee on infection prevention and control.
She said the agency recommends “appropriate and optimal ventilation” of indoor environments, as well as physical distancing.
Agency staff fielded several questions from reporters about transmission of the virus by air, prompted by an open letter from 239 experts calling on the agency to review its guidance. Many of the letter’s signatories have collaborated with the W.H.O. and served on its committees.