Can Covid-19 be transmitted through water?


NO, Covid-19 cannot be transmitted through water.

A claim circulated among social media users early this month that the virus could transmit via water has led to some to call for the temporary closure of public pools and recreational venues.

This was after a 13-second clip went viral on Facebook, showing a huge crowd bathing in a pool at a water theme park without minding physical distancing.

Subang Jaya district deputy police chief Mohd Fairus Jaafar told the media that a detailed investigation would be conducted on the purported breach of health protocols.

Former deputy Health director-general Prof Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman dismissed the claims that Covid-19 infections could take place due to water.

He said that an infection was more likely to occur due to a lack of physical distancing among guests, rather than by the water.

"The virus is also very unlikely to survive in water. There has been no scientific study or epidemiological reports linking an outbreak with water," he told The Star.

He explained that the virus particles were found inside droplets that were expelled from a person's body when one breathes, talks or coughs.

"Inside water, the droplets will be dissolved, thus exposing the virus and destroying it.

"This is the same reason as to why surface contamination is now less likely to transmit infections," he added.

Prof Lokman stressed that enclosed spaces with poor ventilation remained the main route of transmissions due to the presence of suspended droplets.

Water quality specialist Dr Zaki Zainudin said the authorities recommended the use of chlorine to disinfect public pools and destroy any microorganisms.

"The suitable chlorine levels for swimming pools is between 0.5mg/L to 3mg/L.

"Tests done by the researchers from the Imperial College London found that Covid-19 is deactivated when mixed with chlorinated water, rendering the virus unable to infect cells," he said.

In a StarMetro report on Sept 17, Universiti Malaya virologist Prof Dr Sazaly Abu Bakar said Covid-19 could only replicate inside the cells of a living host.

“The virus outside the body is not infective because it has been inactivated by disinfectants,” he said.

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Covid-19 , virus , transmission , waterbody , viral , infections

   

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