London: Even as Covid-19 cases are rising in the UK, the government has launched a new campaign demonstrating the importance of simple ventilation techniques to reduce the risks of catching the infectious disease this winter.
The campaign by the Department of Health and Social Care urges people to open their windows for just 10 minutes every hour when socialising with others, to reduce Covid-19 levels indoors.
Doctors and scientists are backing the campaign across all media platforms to encourage people to ventilate their homes to help disperse virus particles.
It will include a short film asking people to “stop Covid-19 hanging around” that clearly shows the difference in airflow and airborne particle movement when indoors in relation to Covid-19.
It demonstrates how, in a home setting, someone infected with the virus talking and interacting with another person produces a build-up of Covid-19 particles in the air. These particles then linger in an unventilated room, like smoke, meaning the risk of catching Covid-19 is significantly increased. However, Covid-19 particles disperse quickly when good ventilation is introduced, even for a short period.
“Small but important actions can help protect us against Covid-19. Getting vaccinations, wearing a face-covering in enclosed spaces and taking regular Covid-19 tests all make an important difference but it is also crucial that we don’t overlook the value of ventilation,” said Dr Thomas Waite, a deputy chief medical officer for England, in a statement.
“With winter fast approaching and people spending more time indoors, it’s vital everyone understands the importance of using ventilation, such as regularly opening windows – even if just for a few minutes – to keep the air moving and prevent infections,” Waite added.
SARS-CoV-2 viral particles are known to spread between people more readily indoors than outdoors. Indoors, the concentration of viral particles is often higher than outdoors, where even a light wind can rapidly reduce concentrations.
Ensuring proper ventilation with outside air can help reduce the concentration of airborne contaminants, including viruses, indoors, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.