With the idea of Stop the ‘Transmission and Crush the Pandemic’ amid the second wave, COVID-19, in India, the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government had issued guidelines highlighting the importance of masking, social distancing, sanitation, and ventilation.

The advisory highlights the role of well-ventilated spaces in stopping the transmission of the coronavirus. Cov-Tech: Cool PPE Suit with Ventilation System for COVID-19 Warriors, Thanks to Student Innovator From Mumbai.

Just as smells can be diluted from the air through opening windows and doors and using exhaust systems, ventilating spaces with improved directional airflow can decrease the accumulated viral load in the air, reducing the risk of transmission.

Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government, Dr K VijayRaghavan had tweeted that whether vaccinated or not, one must not forget the three principles of crushing the pandemic — masks, physical distancing and ventilation.

Ventilation- A Community Defence

The advisory defines ventilation as "a community defence" that protects all at home or work. To improve ventilation welcome the outdoor air in offices, homes and larger public spaces. It is now clear that well-ventilated spaces play a vital role in diluting the viral load of infected air compared to poorly ventilated houses and offices. Ventilation can decrease the risk of transmission" from one infected person to the other.

The advisory as several measures to improve ventilation that should be followed by both urban and rural areas alike. Recommendations for hutments, homes, offices and large centralised buildings are given below.

1. Ventilation: Home

Allow outdoor airflow in to displace indoor air. This directional airflow and improved ventilation can lower the potential for infection from accumulated viral load in closed spaces. Better the ventilation, lower the potential for transmission.

Placement of fan is very important. Avoid placing fans in a way that could potentially cause contaminated air to flow directly to someone else.

Instal an exhaust fan. Keep exhaust fans running if the windows and doors are shut.

In case you don’t have an exhaust fan then turn a pedestal fan into an exhaust fan by turning it to face outdoors. This will create the ideal airflow for maximum protection from indoor infection.

2. Ventilation: Hutments

Poor ventilation means no place for air to flow.

Lack of window/cross ventilation creates excessive viral load and increases the chances of infection inside poorly ventilated spaces.

In such cases, adding jaali or another simple air outlet improves directional airflow and reduces viral load.

Installation of exhaust fans next to the jaali/ air outlet further improves directional airflow to lower the risk of transmission.

It is advised that jaali/air outlets with exhaust fans are installed by gram panchayats in homes where there is no cross-ventilation.

3. Ventilation: WorkSpaces

Most offices have ventilation issues due to air conditioning.

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

In such cases, keep windows and doors ajar while the ACs are running to bring in clean air and dilute virus particles

One can add a gable/exhaust fan for maximum air circulation as well.

4. Ventilation: Centralized Air Management Systems

Improved central air filtration or increased filtration efficiency is especially helpful when outdoor air delivery options are limited.

Roof ventilators and HEPA/regular filters are recommended in offices, auditoriums, shopping malls etc. These filters must be regularly cleaned or replaced.

Do install Gable Fans.

Ensure appropriate filter fit in the ventilators, ensuring air goes through the filter, not around it.

Ensure the filter is within the recommended service life

Inspect Air Filters, Housing and Racks

Here are some additional considerations that one should keep in mind

-Ensure cross-flow of air in public transport vehicles

-Keep windows open in buses and trains where possible

-Introduce exhaust systems to improve airflow in air-conditioned buses and trains

-Also, introduce HEPA or regular filters in air conditioning systems. These should be cleaned and replaced regularly

-Higher ventilation and directional airflow away from people can curtail the transmission of the virus

-Hospitals and health centres must ensure that vaccinations are carried out in well-ventilated and directional airflow controlled areas

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 28, 2021 01:42 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).