The experts’ claims counter the WHO’s stance on how the novel coronavirus spreads from one person to another.
The WHO has said the disease spreads primarily through droplets from the mouth or nose which leave the body when an infected person sneezes, coughs or even speaks.
The scientists outlined their findings in an open letter to the organisation, arguing that droplets may travel through the air, as opposed to falling to the floor, and could be inhaled by people in the same room.
If the advice laid out by the scientists in their letter is adopted, people may have to wear face coverings while indoors, even if they are practicing social distancing, the New York Times has said.
The WHO did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.
The New York Times carried a comment from one of the organisation’s bosses saying she was not convinced by the latest findings.
Dr Benedetta Allegranzi, technical lead of infection and prevention control at the WHO, told the NYT: “Especially in the last couple of months, we have been stating several times that we consider airborne transmission as possible but certainly not supported by solid or even clear evidence.”
The shocking claim comes as the WHO recorded a record rise in the global number of coronavirus cases.
The United States, Brazil and India showed the biggest jump, as a total of 212,326 fresh infections were added to the tally in 24 hours.
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