World Health Organization plans to study fresh evidence on airborne transmission of the coronavirus, after an international group of scientists concluded it could spread far beyond two metres.

WHO’s technical lead on infection control Benedetta Allegranzi announced this at a virtual press conference.

Allegranzi said it would put out a new scientific brief within days, rounding up the knowledge about how the virus can be transmitted and ensuring its guidance stays in line with the evidence.

The two-metre  physical distancing guideline has been a major factor in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 538,000 people and infected over 11.6 million since the outbreak emerged in China last December.

However, the new coronavirus can spread through the air far beyond two metres, a group of 239 international scientists have confirmed.

The Scientists stressed that when an infected person exhales, they expel droplets.

Droplets under five micrometres in size can become suspended in the air for several hours and travel up to tens of metres.

WHO’s COVID-19 technical lead Maria Van Kerkhove, said the UN health agency was producing a scientific brief consolidating the growing knowledge around transmission.

Meanwhile WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the pandemic was showing no signs of slowing down.