(MENAFN – Swissinfo) The risk of catching the coronavirus on a 12-minute gondola ride is 100 times less than during a normal workday in a small office of two, according to a Swiss study.
This content is published February 1, 2021 – 17:14 February 1, 2021 – 17:14 EMPA / Keystone-SDA / sb
Scientists at the Swiss Federal Laboratory for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) conducted an external link study at the Engelberg-Trübsee-Titlis ski resort in central Switzerland to risk airborne transmission of SARS-Cov-2 droplets on different ski lifts.
They found that closed windows, long journeys and large crowds increased the risk of contracting the virus in various sizes of cable cars and gondolas.
However, the risk of catching the virus during a 12-minute trip on a gondola with the windows open was a thousand times less than during a dinner with eight people in a room with closed windows, the EMPA study found.
Scientists used an air pressure sensor to measure airflow across three types of closed ski lifts: small 5m 3 gondola that can accommodate eight people, medium-sized elevator 40m 3 , and those larger than 50m 3 for 80 passengers.
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Tests found that, with the cab windows open, air was exchanged 138 times per hour in the smallest cabin, 180 times in the medium cabin and 42 times in the largest cabin. Poor ventilation is due to the fact that it has only a small skylight on the roof and no windows that open to the side.
This result is much better when compared to railroad cars, for example, where the air is renewed an average of 7-14 times per hour. In the office, this only happens twice per hour.
When comparing three different ski lifts, the risk of catching the virus from other contaminated passengers was roughly the same, the study found. This is due to the fact that journeys by large cable cars are usually shorter than those of gondolas. However, with the windows closed, the risk increased considerably.
Swiss resorts remain open
Swiss ski resorts remain open this winter, unlike those in neighboring countries. The federal government announced in early December that ski areas were allowed to open but resorts would require a permit from the county government.
“The prerequisite is that the epidemiological situation is possible, and hospitals, contact tracing services and testing sites have sufficient capacity,” he said.
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The federal government has not set a limit on the number of visitors allowed into the resort. But all closed ski transport, such as gondolas and trains, is limited to two-thirds of its capacity, and cantons have a duty to monitor compliance. In recent weeks, police have imposed limits on visitor numbers to some popular resorts and mountainous areas.
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