Media “trumpeted” the news about the dangers of air conditioning. APIC clarifies the situation
A number of media outlets reported on the alleged recommendations of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation to the population not to use household air conditioners, since they contribute to the spread of infection, including the coronavirus COVID-19.
In fact, we are talking about the "Temporary guidelines of the Ministry of Health. Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of new coronavirus infection (COVID-19) ”dated 8.04.2020, where section 7.5“ Rational use of personal protective equipment in medical organizations ”in Chapter 7“ Prevention of coronavirus infection ”refers to measures to reduce the risk of infection on premises EXCLUSIVELY TO MEDICAL INSTITUTIONS. That is, we are not talking about any total and comprehensive measures.
Literally in the Recommendations of the Ministry of Health the following is written:
“The use of the maximum possible modes of natural ventilation (constant maximum possible ventilation) allows us to achieve a sharp decrease in the concentration of infectious aerosol in indoor air and, accordingly, sharply reduce the risk of spread of infections through the air. In areas of high risk of spread of infection caused by COVID-19, the use of room type air conditioners (split systems) should be excluded, since they actually increase the risk of infection, since they help maintain high concentrations of infectious aerosol with blocked natural ventilation. The use of various types of air purifiers - recirculators, including those with a UVBI source inside is not an effective measure to reduce the risk of airborne infections, including COVID-19, due to insufficient productivity (the rate of air exchange in the room), therefore, preference should be given to effective mechanical ventilation or maximum constant airing. ”
From the point of view of industry experts, indeed, in areas of high risk of spread of infection caused by COVID-19, preference should be given to effective mechanical ventilation or maximum permanent ventilation.
However, if we are talking about infectious wards, then the ventilation system should create negative pressure and - no natural ventilation! Otherwise, the infection with the air will spread throughout the premises. In the infectious wards, mechanical supply and exhaust ventilation should be organized, providing the required air parameters (temperature, humidity, mobility), taking into account the fact that the infectious ward is a dirty room in relation to neighboring rooms. In this case, exhaust air must be treated in order to avoid the spread of infection.
If we are talking about a normal room, in which there are no infected patients and mechanical ventilation, then airing the room is recommended, and air extraction is organized from the "dirty room". Overlapping the exhaust duct is not permissible here.
As for household split-systems designed for air cooling, we completely agree with that provision of the “Temporary guidelines of the Ministry of Health. Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of new coronavirus infection (COVID-19) ”dated 8.04.2020, which in areas of high risk of spread of infection caused by COVID-19, preference should be given to effective mechanical ventilation or maximum continuous ventilation.
In addition, to prevent the preservation and spread of virus particles in ventilation and air conditioning systems, frequent maintenance, cleaning and disinfection of ventilation and air conditioning systems, as well as frequent replacement of the filters included in them should be provided.
Since the virus survives longer in a humid environment, special attention during cleaning and disinfection should be given to those elements of ventilation and air conditioning systems in which moisture can appear and accumulate, including air coolers, evaporators, humidification sections, and drainage sections, and also to all drainage pallets and transfer channels in them.
Supporting the heroic efforts of our doctors and the measures taken by the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation to combat coronavirus, we strongly oppose the flagrant unprofessionalism of certain media outlets that disseminate unverified, if not deliberately false information in favor of a momentary scandalous rating. Such “fakes” cause serious damage to enterprises in the industry and discredit the work of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation in today's difficult situation.
APIC Executive Director