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Health News of Thursday, 26 August 2021


‘Wearing nose mask, opening windows reduce coronavirus risks during car travels’

The photo used to illustrate the story The photo used to illustrate the story

NEW research from the University of Surrey has confirmed that the combination of mask-wearing and keeping windows open to draw in fresh air is best for reducing the risk of contracting COVID-19 in car travels.

In a new study, published by Environment International, Surrey’s renowned Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE) said motorists should consider this to make sure their in-car environments are as COVID-secure as possible.

They stated that the probability of COVID-19 transmission rate increased by 28.5 per cent when windows are closed and air recirculation is switched on.

The researchers had used sensors to monitor pollution particles concentration, map how those particles varied during different settings in the vehicle and evaluate exposure dose per km of PM2.5 for three different ventilation settings. These are open windows, air conditioning using fresh air, and air conditioning using air recirculation.

They found that wearing a nose mask while maintaining a continuous intake of fresh air by keeping the windows open is the best way to guard against the transmission of COVID-19 although this ends up increasing occupants’ exposure to toxic air pollution particles when the windows are not closed.

According to them, for the best chance of remaining safe from both COVID-19 and external air pollution, keeping the windows closed, while running air conditioning on ambient mode (drawing in fresh air from outside) to minimise exposure to COVID-19, is the optimal balance.

Professor Prashant Kumar, the lead author of the study, said: “It’s vital that the scientific community provides society with the data it needs so we can learn from the painful experience of the past two years. Our research found that if your priority is to reduce the risk of contracting Covid-19, wearing a mask and keeping car windows open is the ideal approach.”