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When yawning, OTG has the potential to spread COVID-19 through the air
20 Oct 2020

The Center for Atmospheric Science and Technology (PSTA), the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN) said that carrier patients, also known as People Without Symptoms (OTG), have the potential to transmit COVID-19 through the air during breathing and yawning activities. This is because this virus in the air is a bioaerosol with a smaller size equivalent to about five microns, compared to the size of the virus as a droplet or liquid.

According to the Atmospheric Environment Researcher, National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN) Sumaryati, as a bioaerosol, this virus has three differences when compared to droplets (liquids). First, in terms of the number of viruses.

"The number of viruses as bioaerosol is less than as droplets," said Sumaryati in her official statement written Monday, October 19, 2020.

Second, said Sumaryati, in terms of penetration into the respiratory system. Sumaryati revealed that because of its smaller size, the virus as a bioaerosol can experience more penetration into the respiratory system to the lungs.

For the third, continued Sumaryati, the difference in the process of transmitting viruses in the air. As a bioaerosol, Sumaryati explained that the liability or resistance of viruses in the air is around three hours and can reach further distances than droplets.

"Especially if the air is unstable," said Sumaryati.

How to prevent transmission, keep your distance
Unstable air in a closed room, Sumaryati gave an example, if you turn on the air conditioner (air conditioner) which is placed at the top of the room. Meanwhile for outdoor or open air, the air during the day is more unstable when compared to the night.

Even so, Sumaryati said, the virus roaming in open space did not reach very far because it was not included in the long range transmission category or the equivalent of more than 100 kilometers, as the haze phenomenon from Sumatra or Kalimantan which could reach Malaysia or Singapore.

Sumaryati also reminded the public that to prevent the spread of the virus as bioaerosol, apart from implementing strict hand washing protocols, social interactions should be carried out as far as possible with a distance of more than 2 meters. Because according to him, even if you wear a mask, the risk of transmission can still occur.

News source and cover image: Liputan 6.




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