'Evidence suggests COVID spreads through saliva, respiratory secretions of infected people'
New Delhi, Sep 15: Minister of State for Health Ashiwni Choubey on Tuesday informed the Rajya Sabha that current evidence, according to WHO, suggests that transmission of coronavirus occurs primarily through direct, indirect, or close contact with infected people through saliva and respiratory secretions.
"Airborne transmission of the virus can occur in healthcare settings where specific medical procedures, called aerosol generating procedures, generate very small droplets called aerosols," the minister said in a written reply.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), the current evidence suggests that transmission of coronavirus occurs primarily between people through direct, indirect, or close contact with infected people through infected secretions such as saliva and respiratory secretions, or through their respiratory droplets, which are expelled when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks or sings, he explained.
Government of India in its guidelines on rational use of Personal Protective Equipment issued on March 24 has accounted for the possibility of airborne transmission in aerosol generating procedures and has recommended appropriate PPEs for all such settings, Choubey said.
India has reported large outbreaks in certain districts indicating spread of infection in those districts. Only 10 states --Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu , Chhattisgarh, Telengana , Odisha , Assam and Kerala -- are currently contributing to 77 per cent of active cases in the country, he said.