A Japanese experiment demonstrating how the coronavirus can easily spread inside an enclosed environment such as a restaurant has gone viral recently.
The study, as reported by CNN, is conducted by public broadcasting service NHK in collaboration with health experts, and simulates the interiors of a buffet restaurant or a cruise ship wherein one seemingly infected person, identifiable by a fluorescent substance in his hands only visible under black light, is one amongst 10 people in the space.
The substance represents the germs from a cough or a sneeze, and movement of the individuals is kept unrestricted for the experiment, without any one of them suspecting possible contamination.
Reportedly, the infection at the end of the video is seen to have spread to surfaces such as serving utensils, platters, as well as on the food and the faces of some subjects.
Japan, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally, has had 16,049 COVID-19 cases and 478 deaths, while worldwide the virus has affected more than 4.3 million people.
Johns Nicholls, a clinical professor of Pathology in Hong Kong University, said, according to the report, that the experiment demonstrates how fast the contagion can spread when hygiene is not maintained.
Noting that the disease can spread to people and surfaces in quite an efficient manner, Nicholls is quoted as saying that he thinks “it really highlights the need of what people have been saying about hand hygiene to stop the spread of disease."
Describing the discrepancy, however, the professor reportedly further notes that the amount of fluorescent substance would not justifiably reflect the amount of germs on an individual’s hands.
A contradictory opinion was offered by Kentaro Itawa, an infectious disease specialist at Kobe University, who said that "The experiment just described the possibility of the spread by contact, and that is not proof of what happened, so the distinction has to be clearly made between what could happen and what did happen”, as reported by CNN.
The experiment includes a second scenario executed by NHK, wherein the individuals maintained hand hygiene and all the surfaces and utensils were replaced or wiped clean. In this case, however, upon going under black light, none of the individuals seemed to have contracted the virus.