How exactly is COVID-19 transmitted?
For the answer, watch the 60th episode in the University of the Philippines (UP) “Stop COVID Deaths” webinar series, which will be held on Friday, 9 July 2021, at 12:00 noon.
The debate on the exact mode of transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that has caused the COVID-19 pandemic, is typical for new viruses that require close examination. Apart from the fields of biology and medicine, information on the transmission of microbes benefits from the perspectives of engineers who can measure viral particles and recreate how these can move in the air; physicists who study the properties and behavior of particles; as well as infectious disease specialists who can link all this information to human behavior that creates risk of infection.
We know that SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted through droplets. We know that certain hospital procedures can aerosolize the virus and make it airborne, which is why hospitals take airborne precautions. The question is, in the community, the workplace, homes and eventually in schools, are there situations where smaller particles can float in the air and still cause infection even after a person who sneezed or coughed has left the room? How long can the virus remain viable (i.e. capable of reproducing) in the air or on surfaces? What are the situations that have the highest risks in community transmission? How can we protect ourselves?
Other questions are: Do we need to stay farther from each other to keep social distance? Completely refrain from eating indoors? How do we properly ventilate our offices, our homes and our schools?
These questions and many more on the risks of SARS-CoV-2 transmission will be discussed in the UP “Stop COVID Deaths” 60th webinar. The main presenter is Prof. Gerald Jo C. Denoga, a Mechanical Engineering professor and Associate Dean for Research of the UP Diliman College of Engineering. Reactors are: Dr. Regina P. Berba, Head of the UP Philippine General Hospital (PGH) Hospital Infection Control Unit; and, Fr. Jett Villarin, SJ, a physicist and former President of the Ateneo de Manila University, with the special participation of veteran health broadcast journalist Niña Corpuz who will make a presentation on how to communicate health risks to the public.
Opening remarks will be delivered by Dr. Elena E. Pernia, UP Vice President for Public Affairs, and closing remarks, by Dr. Charlotte M. Chiong, Dean of the UP College of Medicine.