“Novel Coronavirus is not Airborne” : NYC Mayor citing WHO – China Joint Mission report

“Novel Coronavirus is not Airborne” : NYC Mayor citing WHO – China Joint Mission report

At a recent Covid-19 Emergency Preparation press conference we attended on March 13, 2020 at NYC’s City Hall, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio referenced a recently released report, between the World Health Organization (WHO) and China, to back up the administration’s beliefs that Coronavirus is indeed not airborne but rather dependent upon the direct transmission of bodily fluids.

The Mayor’s words:

“An interesting new study today, or yesterday, I should say – WHO study. This one is extraordinary. It is a study of 65,000 actual coronavirus cases in China – so, in other words, an extraordinarily in-depth extensive study. And there’s a lot in it, but the thing I want to say, which was very important for us to see and confirmed exactly what Dr. Barbot has been saying, Dr. Katz has been saying, is that based on the latest evidence, this is not an airborne disease. This is a direct transmission by fluids kind of disease, not a disease that hangs in the air. So, this is the latest as of yesterday. Again, we’ll constantly update you as we get new information…”

A week earlier, during the March 6 Covid-19 press conference, the mayor had also made mention of his conviction concerning whether the virus is airborne or not:

“The other thing, and this is going to be a little graphic, so forgive me, but you will certainly understand what I’m saying. How it transmits from people to people. We’ve said from the beginning, it is not like the measles and I’ve asked our health professionals to be really clear and specific about this. Everything we know about this kind of disease, because it is part of a family of diseases is you’re never going to have a situation where it becomes an airborne disease. Meaning it hangs in the air like measles does, like some other diseases do and can be contracted hours later after its presence in a room, for example. That is not coronavirus. What it is, is something that transmits through bodily fluids, but not all bodily fluids. So again, forgive the bluntness – a sneeze, a cough, if you spit and remember sometimes people spit inadvertently just talking energetically. That’s how it can transmit, but not just that. It actually has to get into your body, which means basically your mouth, your nose, your eyes. Hands can also be the path.”

We were able to track down the published report referenced by Mayor de Blasio.

The paragraph dealing with modes of transmission can be found on page 8 of the 40 page report, titled: ‘Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)’

Routes of Transmission

“”Routes of transmission COVID-19 is transmitted via droplets and fomites during close unprotected contact between an infector and infectee. Airborne spread has not been reported for COVID-19 and it is not believed to be a major driver of transmission based on available evidence; however, it can be envisaged if certain aerosol-generating procedures are conducted in health care facilities. Fecal shedding has been demonstrated from some patients, and viable virus has been identified in a limited number of case reports. However, the fecal-oral route does not appear to be a driver of COVID-19 transmission; its role and significance for COVID-19 remains to be determined. Viral shedding is discussed in the Technical Findings (Annex C).””