The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 200 countries around the world. One of the earliest cases was reported from international cruise liner Diamond Princess, harboured in Japan’s Yokohama.
The Diamond Princess proved to be a fertile ground for the virus with 712 cases and 10 deaths. Qinyang Chen, a professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University, said that the air conditioning system of the ship could be responsible for the spread.
In an interaction with Business Insider, Chen said says that while researchers cannot prove how those aboard the Diamond Princess were infected, he assumes that the virus continued its spread even after passengers were quarantined due to the air conditioning system.
Chen said cruise ships do get fresh air from the sea but part of the air supplied to each room is returned to the air conditioning system. He said this recirculation of air posed as a real danger.
The professor said that every time the air circulates, it flies through filters and particles larger than 5,000 nanometres are stopped. However, the coronavirus is likely to be a dozen times smaller, thus allowing it easy access to all corners during air circulation.
“Those small particles that might contain the coronavirus are returned to the cabins,” the report quoted Chen as saying.
Updated Date: Mar 27, 2020 14:51:58 IST