Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Brunei Town

Schools, public spaces need better ventilation system

As we learn to live with COVID-19, it’s wise to be vigilant of strategies taken by countries that are ahead of us in terms of the re-opening of economy and borders.

What we know is that the virus spreads from an infected person’s mouth or nose in small liquid particles when they cough, sneeze, speak, sing or breathe. These particles range from larger respiratory droplets to smaller aerosols.

Infection spreads by breathing in the virus when in close proximity with an infected person, or by touching contaminated surfaces and then our eyes, nose or mouth. It also spreads more easily indoors and in crowded areas.

In coping with the virus, we look to adopt a healthier diet and lifestyle, and improved hygiene and cleanliness, in addition to inoculation against COVID-19, masking and social distancing.

A team of doctors, scientists and engineers in the United Kingdom recently studied and found that placing an air filtration machine in COVID-19 hospital wards helped to remove almost all traces of airborne SARS-CoV2.

Meanwhile, Germany invested half a billion euro in October 2020 to improve ventilation in public buildings, including schools. According to former chancellor Angela Merkel, the move was “one of the cheapest and most effective ways” to tackle COVID spread.

Similar strategy has since been adopted elsewhere, including Australia, other parts of Europe and Singapore. As such, we urge the authorities to consider implementing air purifiers in air-conditioned classrooms and public spaces.

The technology has the potential to supplement our efforts to keep the virus at bay. The pro-rated daily cost is small, considering what we have already spent on hand sanitiser, masks and test kits.

Let us work together to help Brunei recover from the pandemic.

Concerned Families

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