The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the news circulating on social media that coronavirus (COVID-19) is airborne in incorrect.
The premier health agency took to its Twitter page on Saturday to make this clarification.
It said the virus that causes COVID-19 was mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks.
“These droplets are too heavy to hang in the air. They quickly fall on floors or surfaces,” it wrote.
“You can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are within one meter of a person who has COVID-19.
“You can be infected by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.’’
WHO further urged people to protect themselves by engaging in social distancing.
“To protect yourself, keep at least one meter distance from others and disinfect surfaces that are touched frequently,” it added.
“Regularly clean your hands thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose’’
It also warned that drinking alcohol does not protect people against COVID-19 and can be dangerous.
“Frequent or excessive alcohol consumption can increase your risk of health problems,’’ WHO said.
But an earlier study by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) had shown that COVID-19, a strain of coronavirus, can stay in the air and on surfaces for days.
The researchers suggested that people may acquire the virus through the air and after touching contaminated objects.
“The study attempted to mimic virus being deposited from an infected person onto everyday surfaces in a household or hospital setting, such as through coughing or touching objects,” NIH reported on its website.
“The scientists then investigated how long the virus remained infectious on these surfaces.”
On Sunday, Nigeria recorded 14 new cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 111.