As the entire world continues to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak, Japan’s national television broadcaster NHK recently conducted an interesting experiment that demonstrates how SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19 pandemic, can spread in public gatherings.
In the wake of several Japanese cruise ships becoming hotbeds of spreading COVID-19 disease, the national broadcaster teamed up with infectious disease experts to re-enact the spread of the virus in crowded eating locations such as buffets at restaurants or cruise ships.
The infectious disease experts chose ten people in the experiment who were asked to pick and eat food from a buffet line which had several food items and beverages on the tables. One of them, however, was covered with fluorescent paint on his hands which is only visible under special black light.
The person was asked to go about normally and socialise with the others. By the end of 30 minutes, the disease experts turned off the light and used a black light to trace the spread of the fluorescent paint during the meal. They found that small traces of the paint had found their way on almost all people present in the room as well on several items on the buffet table.
The experiment conducted by NHK is a perfect way to show the rapid and inevitable transmission of coronavirus in crowded areas when an infected person is part of the crowd.