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Droplets responsible for 96% of coronavirus transmissions - Russian chief sanitary doctor

According to Anna Popova, the virus could live on surfaces up to 72 hours

MOSCOW, April 4. /TASS/. The novel coronavirus spreads in 96% of cases via droplets, the chief of Russia’s consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, Anna Popova, told reporters on Saturday.

"I would like to say about features of the virus we know up to now. We know now that the virus’ main transmission route is through droplets, as 96% of cases are related to droplets. And only 4% or 6% of different researches [say] through the air," she said.

According to Popova, "the virus is heavy and spreads via droplets," which determines the introduced measures.

"We know that the reproduction number of that disease is such that one individual with developed symptoms could infect three other people. If there are no signs, one person could infect one other person. Mathematical models and calculations are based on that," the chief sanitary doctor added.

According to her, the virus could live on surfaces up to 72 hours. 

In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.

On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. To date, more than 1,000,000 people have been infected worldwide and over 53,000 deaths have been reported. That said, over 213,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.

So far, a total of 4,731 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 333 patients having recovered from the virus. Moscow handles the bulk of the cases (3,357). The country’s latest data indicates 43 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.