Prevention of spread of COVID-19

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic started last year many things have changed. People have been forced into isolation with many schools and businesses closed. Even up till now most people are working from home. Governments around the world are trying to contain the disease by encouraging the public to wear, sanitize their hands and get vaccinated.

But will all this be enough. Unfortunately the answer is no because the virus is mutating and is more deadly. This is the way of micro-organisms. Once they detect a change in the environment, in this case the precautions people are taking and then the vaccination, the virus changes part of its DNA for it to survive. Every living thing fights for survival, whether it’s a virus, animal or even a plant.

Recently, another method has been pointed out by Professor Lidia Morawska of Queensland University of Technology which entails improving indoor ventilation systems. Together with a multitude of scientists from 14 different countries, Professor Morawska has proposed an international “paradigm shift” to the WHO to improve standards of air quality to avoid air borne pathogens.

“We need to establish the foundations to ensure that the air in our buildings is clean with a significantly reduced pathogen count, contributing to the building occupants’ health, just as we expect for the water coming out of our taps,” Professor Morawska said.

The air is the easiest route for micro-organisms to be carried from one place to another and they more difficult to detect than in food and water. The obvious reason because air can’t be seen and so, can’t be controlled. But the condition of buildings can be improved.

“For decades, the focus of architects and building engineers was on thermal comfort, odour control, perceived air quality, initial investment cost, energy use, and other performance issues, while infection control was neglected,” she said. “Wide use of monitors displaying the state of indoor air quality must be mandated too, because the general public currently have no way of knowing the condition of indoor spaces they occupy and share with others.”

Although the changes will require more costs if approved but considering the situation of the world, the Professor believes that these modifications will have greater benefits than the current situation.

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