MUMBAI: We’re in for a longer run, as the Ministry of Home Affairs announced a two-week extension of the lockdown ahead of the May 4 end of the current one. This time, the government has provided many guidelines and relaxations to allow movement of people and businesses, in the safer, green zones.
What is missing, however, is an acknowledgment and specific guidelines around regulating humidity and temperature control, two critical factors in containing the spread of the coronavirus. The two elements were linked to the spread of the coronavirus by the WHO and several research bodies last week.
“Considering the poor awareness and knowledge of humidity, many, including the medical fraternity, don’t even know the linkages between the two. Though news channels have picked up the story now, they have a major knowledge gap. Many panelists quizzed about these two don’t even know that humidity is measured in RH and RH%”, said Mansoor Ali, founder of AMFAH India and a noted industry expert on-air treatment products, ventilation, and indoor air systems.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbCvjvOplL4&feature=emb_title“India is a tropical country with high humidity regions, which are a bigger challenge than lower humidity. Our excessively hot summers are nearly here, and monsoons are also not far away, which would raise this humidity to 90% RH levels for most Indian cities. All AMFAH research shows that COVID-19 virus contamination, which spreads through surface-based and human transmission, remains around us depending on humidity and temperature of the area”, he explained.
Ali is urging the government to strategize moves to handle these two factors immediately. “Without addressing Humidity or IAQ- Indoor Air Quality testing/ certification, the government should not even think about easing the lockdown. It’s high time that the Indian government understands the seriousness of IAQ & incorporates into all policy guidelines to combat, control and prevent COVID-19”, he added.
How can we combat this situation? For this, Mansoor urged to use dehumidifiers, maintain RH levels of 40-60% and ventilating spaces. “Remember, ignorance is certainly not bliss here.”
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