Researchers have realised a terrifying animation showed just how a single cough can lead to widespread coronavirus infections across an entire supermarket. The animation, put together by scientists at Aalto University in Finland, showed how a coronavirus cough can form a cloud of deadly droplets across two supermarket aisles. In the video, the virus hangs in the air for several minutes even in a ventilated supermarket.
This means a cloud of COVID-19 droplets will infect others even minutes after the sick person has walked away.
Aalto University Assistant Professor Ville Vuorinen said: “Someone infected by the coronavirus, can cough and walk away, but then leave behind extremely small aerosol particles carrying the coronavirus.
“These particles could then end up in the respiratory tract of others in the vicinity.”
Experts from Aalto University, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Finnish Meteorological Institute each carried out separate computer modelling simulations of the supermarket cough scenario.
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A statement from Aalto University said: “The researchers obtained the same preliminary result: in the situation under investigation, the aerosol cloud spreads outside the immediate vicinity of the coughing person and dilutes in the process.”
The alarming video follows shocking news that runners could pass the infection to each another even if they are six feet apart.
Other modelling scenarios from the Finnish researchers showed the virus spreading across supermarket aisles even if the infected individual was simply talking.
The experts claim the simulation finding reinforces the lockdown and social distancing measures.
The scientists told reporters that the best way to avoid catching the coronavirus was to stay away from busy public spaces including shops and stations.
Professor Ville Vuorinen of Aalto University in Finland told the BBC: “If you go there, only go there seldom as possible. Stay there as short a time as possible”
In the UK, shoppers have been urged to stay two metres apart while walking down aisles.
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Long queues have been seen extending into car parks around the country as supermarkets limit the number of shoppers inside a store at any given time.
Despite this, the UK and the WHO have resisted calls to make face masks a necessity.
In the UK it is advised that only health workers and carers that should wear the protective face masks.
However, in the US the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended wearing a cloth face-covering in public when other social distancing measures is difficult to maintain.
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