Proper ventilation in public space "crucial" in fight against coroanvirus: Amsterdam research

To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, good ventilation in public areas like public transport and nursing homes is "of crucial importance", according to a study by physicists and medical researchers at the University of Amsterdam, NOS reports.

The researchers asked healthy people to cough and speak in rooms with various states of ventilation, and then studied the dispersion of small droplets called aerosols with laser light. The researchers found that it took these droplets minutes to float to the ground. In a room with poor ventilation, half were still in the air after five minutes. In a well ventilated area, half of the droplets had disappeared after 2.5 minutes. And if a door or window was open in the room, half were gone within 30 seconds.

"The mini-droplets are therefore much more dangerous when it comes to the transmission of the coronavirus," the researchers said. Their study showed that social distancing in public transport, for example, is "not enough to limit the risks". Nor is the planned app to determine who a coronavirus patient had contact with. Much more attention should be paid to good ventilation, they said.