The 26 foot sneeze zone: Coronavirus social distancing limit is at least four times too SHORT because infectuous droplets can fly much further than current 6ft restriction, study warns
- The UK’s social distancing policy has been placed under the microscope
- A study suggests that the current six foot is proving to be ineffective
- The highly contagious coronavirus is spread via droplets in the air
- Supermarkets and public spaces should place eight metres between people
- READ: Crackdown to get tougher as death toll jumps by 181 in a single day
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
The UK’s social distancing policy appears to be unfolding incorrectly according to a recent study, which shows the advised six foot separation guidelines are failing to stop the spread of deadly coronavirus (covid-19).
Many supermarkets and other places of public importance which remain in operation have been practicing the organised separation of customers, though the simple transmission of covid-19 shows more now needs to be done.
A new study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) suggests the gap we currently have in place to distance from one another needs to be around four times bigger.
When leaving the safety of home the public are currently being asked to keep a distance of around 6ft 6in, particular when it comes to forming queues in congested supermarkets.
The advised social distancing guidelines of two metres may be insufficient to stop covid-19
Yet new analysis by MIT has found that viral droplets expelled in coughs and sneezes can travel in a moist, warm atmosphere at speeds of 33ft to 100ft per second (ten metres to 100 metres), as report the Telegraph.
This creates a cloud within the atmosphere that can span approximately 23ft to 27ft (seven metres to eight metres) to neighbouring people.
It has also been warned that droplets, which contribute to the rapid spread of covid-19, can remain suspended in the air for several hours and can be manipulated in direction by things just as air ventilation systems to create ‘turbulent clouds of air.’
Many people are now finding themselves in close quarters with others on a daily basis, with supermarkets still feeling the effects of mass panic buying of products.
In London, despite persistent calls from the government for only essential workers to continue with the morning commute, images have revealed the underground system to be packed to bursting on a daily basis, with a reduced service of trains on the tracks.
The authors of the MIT study offered further clarity on their findings, and detailed why social distancing needs to be increased within the Journal of the American Medical Association (Jama).
Despite calls for only essential workers to make the daily commute, the underground is remains bustling with members of the public unable to adhere to social distancing
‘These distances are based on estimates of range that have not considered the possible presence of a high-momentum cloud carrying the droplets long distances.
‘Given the turbulent puff cloud dynamic model, recommendations for separations of three feet to six feet (one metre to two metres) may underestimate the distance, timescale, and persistence over which the cloud and its pathogenic payload travel, thus generating an underappreciated potential exposure range for a healthcare worker.
‘For these and other reasons, wearing of appropriate personal protection equipment is vitally important for health care workers caring for patients who may be infected, even if they are farther than six feet away from a patient.’
Further studies also reportedly show the virus does have the capability to survive in the warm conditions of a swimming pool, which throws the notion of temperature killing off covid-19 into serious question.
It had been widely assumed the warm weather of summer would cause a winding down period to the spread of covid-19, before all but eradicating the virus across the country.
This theory may now prove to be incorrect, after Nanjing Medical University in China discovered that the virus showed the ability to survive the temperature of a pool being between 25 degrees Celsius and 41 degrees Celsius and humidity of approximately 60 per cent.
Such conditions would typically kill off a strain of the common flu, due to the inhospitable settings.
On Friday Britain’s coronavirus death toll surged by 181 as Government advisers warned that even stricter social distancing measures could be on the way.
Standing as the largest daily increase so far, it means the disease has now claimed 759 lives, including young and previously healthy people.
Government advisers said stricter social distancing policies may have to be rolled out next month if the grim figures continued to rise.
The measures would be introduced in three weeks as the outbreak reached its peak to further reduce ‘person-to-person interaction’.
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