Researchers have warned that people should avoid talking while eating in restaurants, after concluding that the Corona virus can be transmitted more than 6 meters away.
Indoor spaces should also install a “wind partition” between clients or consider placing them in separate rooms to prevent the spread of infection.
The recommendations were made in a study of a group of cases in a restaurant in Jeonju, South Korea, earlier this year.
After examining CCTV images, contact-tracking interviews, and mobile location data, they concluded that one patient was injured at a distance of 6.5 meters despite only being exposed for five minutes. Another was wounded, about 4.8 meters away, after 15 minutes of exposure, and they had no direct or indirect contact with the original case.
However, several other diners in the same restaurant were not infected despite their proximity to the source of the outbreak.
Researchers also measured the airflow produced by ceiling-mounted air conditioners to see how the virus might travel over these long distances.
Experts currently recommend that social distancing is required at least one to two meters to avoid contact with respiratory droplets transmitted through sneezing, coughing, or talking.
But in the Korean case, scientists concluded that the droplets may have been transported over longer distances because the restaurant was equipped with roof-type air conditioners.
“Droplet transmission can occur over 2 meters away if there is direct airflow from an infected person,” the study authors said in. Korean Journal of Medical Sciences.
Therefore, updated guidelines that include prevention, contact tracing and quarantine for Covid-19 are required to control this highly contagious disease.
Researchers continue to recommend that tables in indoor restaurants and cafeterias should be separated by sections or placed more than two meters away.
They add: “In addition, in indoor places such as restaurants, masks should be removed only during meals, and they should be worn before and after eating, while talking during meals and talking or shouting out loud should be avoided.”
“In the long term, consideration should be given to installing separate rooms or indoor barriers to prevent the transmission of airborne infectious diseases and droplets.”