In a significant disclosure, an MIT researcher has claimed that the social distancing guidelines of staying 6 feet from others may not be enough to check the spread of COVID-19 pandemic as the coronavirus droplets can travel 23 to 27 feet.
In a research paper, MIT associate professor Lydia Bourouiba says that the current guidelines are based on outdated models from the 1930s. Her research paper has been published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association.
The research paper, according to New York Post, warns that droplets that settle along the trajectory can contaminate surfaces, adding residues or droplet nuclei may stay suspended in the air for hours.
Referring to a 2020 report from China, Lydia Bourouiba said that it showed “virus particles could be found in the ventilation systems in hospital rooms of patients with COVID-19.”
She noted in her report that the current guidelines are “overly simplified” and “may limit the effectiveness of the proposed interventions” against the deadly pandemic.
“There’s an urgency in revising the guidelines currently being given by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the needs for protective equipment, particularly for the frontline health care workers,” Bourouiba was quoted as saying by USA Today.
The WHO had earlier said that a distance of 3 feet was enough to remain safe.
Welcoming the research paper of Lydia Bourouiba, the WHO said, “WHO carefully monitors emerging evidence about this critical topic and will update this scientific brief as more information becomes available.”