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The World Health Organization issues guidance on ventilation

The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially issued guidance on indoor ventilation in a document entitled Roadmap to improve and ensure good indoor ventilation in the context of COVID-19.

“The risk of getting COVID-19 is higher in crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces where infected people spend long periods of time together in close proximity. These environments are where the virus appears to spread by respiratory droplets or aerosols more efficiently, so taking precautions is even more important,” says the WHO.
The roadmap was developed after conducting a scoping review of the available literature and an assessment of the available guidance documents from the major internationally recognized authorities on building ventilation, says the organization.

The organization further states that the available evidence and guidance were retrieved, collated and assessed for any discrepancies by international expert members of the World Health Organization (WHO) Environment and Engineering Control Expert Advisory Panel (ECAP) for COVID-19.

“Understanding and controlling building ventilation can improve the quality of the air we breathe and reduce the risk of indoor health concerns including preventing the virus that causes COVID-19 from spreading indoors.”

The roadmap development process included two expert consultation sessions via virtual meetings, and two rounds of written submissions, to gather technical contributions and to ensure consensus building for the adaptation of recommendations.

The process considered infection prevention and control (IPC) objectives, resource implications, values and preferences, ethics, and research gaps within the roadmap development, which resulted in a roadmap on how to improve ventilation in indoor spaces.

The roadmap is divided into three settings – health care, nonresidential and residential spaces – and takes into account different ventilation systems (mechanical or natural). It is aimed at health care facility managers, building managers, as well as those members of the general public who are providing home care or home quarantine.

For more information, visit: https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/339857

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