New Delhi, October 22: With lockdown being lifted partially by countries, airlines have resumed passenger services that had been suspended due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. What's the risk of catching coronavirus on a plane? According to the World Health Organisation or WHO, the risk of COVID-19 spreading on flights appears "very low". The WHO, however, has not categorically ruled out the possibility. Pollution May Increase Virus Transmissibility Making People More Vulnerable to COVID-19, Say Experts.
"In-flight transmission is possible but the risk appears to be very low, given the volume of travellers and the small number of case reports. The fact that transmission is not widely documented in the published literature does not, however, mean it does not happen," the WHO said in a statement to Reuters. Southwest Airlines and United Airlines recently said that recent studies had found that the risk was "virtually non-existent". No Mutation of Coronavirus Has Been Detected in India: Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.
The International Air Transport Association, a union of airlines, had on October 8 said that only 44 potential cases of flight-related transmission were identified among 1.2 billion air travellers this year, which means one in every 27 million passengers. The figures were contested by Dr David Freedman, a US-based infectious diseases specialist who said it was based on "bad math".
The WHO maintains that sick individuals or those who were exposed to an infected person should not be allowed to travel, according to Reuters. It added that ventilation systems on modern aircraft could filter viruses and germs quickly.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Oct 22, 2020 08:25 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).