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COVID-19: Govt Issues Guidelines For Home Ventilation To Prevent Spread Of COVID Infection

A recent set of guidelines issued by the Central Government suggests that proper home ventilation is important to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and how people can promote better ventilation at home.

The coronavirus spreads from human to human through saliva and nasal respiratory discharge. Mutations can accumulate in the virus, which makes new variants of concern, and some virus variants may have higher transmission and infection rates [1].

The guidelines highlight the important role masks, distance, sanitation, and well-ventilated spaces play in minimising the viral load of infected air in poorly ventilated houses and offices. Ventilation can decrease the risk of transmission from one infected person to the other. Let's take a look at the guidelines for home ventilation to prevent COVID-19 spread [2].

Guidelines For Home Ventilation To Prevent Spread Of COVID-19

The important suggestions from the guidelines issued by the Govt. are as follows:

1. Ventilation for homes

  • Poor ventilation is when the windows and doors are shut; good ventilation is when the windows and doors are open; ideal ventilation is when the exhaust system works along with open doors and windows and fan switched on [3].
  • Let outdoor airflow in to displace indoor air because cross-ventilation can lower the potential for infection from accumulated viral load in closed spaces.
  • Avoid placing fans in a way that could potentially cause contaminated air to flow directly to someone else.
  • Installing an exhaust fan is important. Keep exhaust fans running if the windows and doors are shut.
  • Add an exhaust fan OR turn a pedestal fan into an exhaust fan by turning it to face outdoors to create the ideal airflow.

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2. Ventilation for hutments/single rooms

  • Add jaali (windows) or another simple air outlet improves directional airflow and reduces viral load [4].
  • Installing exhaust fans next to the jaali/ air outlet further improves directional airflow to lower the risk of transmission.

3. Ventilation for workspaces

  • Running ACs while keeping windows and doors shut traps infected air inside the room and increases the risk of transmission from an infected carrier to others.
  • Keep windows and doors ajar while the ACs are running to bring in clean air and dilute virus particles [5].
  • Add gable/exhaust fan for maximum air circulation.
  • Roof ventilators and regular filters are recommended in offices, auditoriums, shopping malls etc. These filters must be regularly cleaned or replaced.
  • Improved central air filtration/increased filtration efficiency is especially helpful when outdoor air delivery options are limited.

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Other Guidelines For Proper Ventilation To Prevent COVID-19 Spread

  • Keep windows open in buses and trains where possible.
  • Introduce exhaust systems to improve airflow in air-conditioned buses and trains.
  • Also, introduce HEPA (high-efficiency particulate absorbing filter)/regular filters in air conditioning systems. These should be cleaned and replaced regularly.
  • Hospitals and health centres must ensure that vaccinations are carried out in well-ventilated and directional air flow-controlled areas [6].

Govt. Guidelines To Stop COVID-19 Transmission

  • Wear double masks [7]
  • Keep areas well-ventilated
  • Maintain physical distancing [8]
  • Wash hands with soap often [9]
  • Isolate COVID-positive patients safely
  • Disinfect surfaces regularly [10]

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On A Final Note...

Follow COVID-appropriate behaviour to reduce and control the transmission of the virus. It is important to know that if COVID-appropriate behaviour is not followed, surges of infection can re-occur. The virus can quickly spread from a small number of people to a vast population.

Story first published: Monday, May 24, 2021, 22:44 [IST]
Read more about: covid ventilation vaccination