Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Director-General of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control NCDC, has said that airborne transmission of COVID-19 is possible and has urged citizens to wear face masks and adhere to other non-pharmaceutical protocols like avoiding mass gatherings, practicing social distancing and maintaining hand hygiene by washing of hands.
Speaking during the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing in Abuja today July 13, Ihekweazu said:
“Over the past few weeks, increasing evidence has emerged that in addition to droplet infection, we cannot rule out that airborne transmission is also possible as a mode of transmission of COVID-19.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has updated its guidelines on this saying exactly the same thing, that we cannot rule out airborne transmission. Therefore, we have to act in a precautionary way assuming that this is also possible given the new evidence that is emerging.
This means that staying together in closed spaces and clusters such as in restaurants and in small rooms with very poor ventilation increases the risk of transmission. Indoor activities are riskier than outdoors activities especially when there are many people in the room when we don’t adhere to distancing them and when we don’t wear masks.” he said