Proper ventilation a key tool to prevent the spread of Covid-19
Indoor ventilation is an important tool to prevent the viral transmission of the Covid-19 virus when correctly applied.
Conversely, poor ventilation promotes viral transmission, Engen industrial hygiene specialist Garth Hunter warned during the South African Institute of Occupational Safety and Health’s safety day webinar, held on September 7.
Hunter pointed out that a Japanese study had shown that Covid-19 spread was 18 times higher in an enclosed environment than in an outdoor environment.
Occupational medicine specialist Dr Greg Kew suggested that ventilation was the “engineering solution” as well as the barrier that one would need to set in place as the foundation of every other measure of prevention, or dilution, of the virus particles.
“The importance of that as a barrier is that it doesn’t depend on behavioural compliance, but one also needs to consider that ventilation is primarily a dilution control, and so, [is particularly effective] for people sitting close to one another, and for those who are breathing heavily,” he explained.
In a factory or office environment, for example, one would need additional layers of control – such as wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing – as the key to reducing the spread of infection.