An air filtration machine placed on a Covid-19 hospital ward removed almost all traces of the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Cambridge in the U.K.
“Reducing airborne transmission of the coronavirus is extremely important for the safety of both patients and staff,” said Vilas Navapurkar, MD, a Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine at Cambridge University Hospitals and leader of the study. “Effective personal protective equipment has made a huge difference, but anything we can do to reduce the risk further is important,” Navapurkar added.
A team of doctors and scientists have found that a standard, off-the-shelf air filter was able to remove most airborne virus particles such as coronavirus on an intensive care ward.
There is evidence that Covid-19 can be spread by particles in the air, and tests were carried out at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge after a consultant wondered if the effect of air filtration could be measured.
Last autumn, staff and pupils were told to layer up as schools struggled to keep classrooms both ventilated for covid safety and warm during plummeting temperatures. Heads told Schools Week last year that their heating costs could double.
Geoff Barton, ASCL general secretary, said government action on ventilation in schools “amounts to little more than recommending that windows are kept open, which is not sustainable in providing a comfortable learning environment in the depths of a British winter”.
The research included 300 office workers in six countries including the UK, in fields such as engineering, property investment, architecture and technology. It found that higher concentrations of fine particulate matter in the air and lower ventilation rates were associated with slower response times and reduced accuracy in cognitive tests.