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Coronavirus could be detected up to 10 ft in air around infected person, govt cites CSIR study


New Delhi, July 23

A study conducted by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) indicates that coronavirus could be detected up to 10 feet or 3.048 metres in the air around an infected individual, Parliament was told Friday.

In a written response to a question in Lok Sabha, Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh said the results of the CSIR study have been posted on a pre-print server.

“The study conducted by the Council of Scientific amp; Industrial Research (CSIR) indicates that the coronavirus could be detected up to 10 feet (3.048 meters) distance in the air around an infected individual. However, with directional air flow, the possibility of virus riding on aerosols to long distance cannot be denied,” Singh said.

As a precautionary measure, wearing mask can help in significantly reducing the risk of catching the infection through air, he cautioned.

Replying to another question on Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) — a consortium of 28 genome sequencing laboratories of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFamp;W), CSIR, Ministry of Education, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and State Governments—he said the overall aim of the consortium is to monitor the genomic variations in coronavirus in India.

He said according to the ICMR database, there are 1,88,26,913 individuals registered as COVID-19 positive between December 20 to July 19 2021.

“Since the inception of INSACOG till now the INSACOG has sequenced 57,476 SARS-CoV-2 genomes. Out of these, 44,334 samples have been analysed and assigned Pangolin lineage classification and submitted to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for public health correlation,” he said. PTI

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