Passengers can be given more protection from the coronavirus by leaving the middle seats of the aircraft empty. This was revealed in a medical study conducted in the United States.
Research has shown that emptying the middle seats on an airplane can reduce the risk of spreading the virus from a person infected with COVID-19 by 23 to 57 percent.
The study urged airlines to continue to pursue a strategy of having a limited number of passengers on board, but bookings are now being made for all seats on airlines in the United States. The companies say filters and airflow systems prevent planes from spreading the virus when passengers wear face masks.
The study, by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kansas State University, estimated the extent to which virus particles could be spread inside the aircraft from the air.
To that end, the researchers tested the spread of viral particles using puppets in an aircraft cabin-like environment. However, the study did not take into account the use of face masks, nor did it consider the aspect of passenger vaccination.
The CDC said in its recommendations a few days ago that people who use the vaccine have a lower risk of contracting the virus, but they should avoid unnecessary travel.
Research has shown that social distance between passengers on a plane reduces the risk of spreading the coronavirus to humans. The study found a link between the risk of coronavirus and the proximity of people on planes.
The researchers said that the risk of illness among passengers could be reduced by 23 to 57 percent by leaving the middle seats vacant instead of filling the planes completely. According to research, if a passenger is in the same row as a person who suffers from COVID-19 but is 2 seats away, the risk of the disease is reduced by 23%.
When this scenario is applied to 120-passenger cabins, the risk of disease is reduced by 35 to 39.4 percent. The researchers said that the risk is reduced by 57% if there is a distance of 3 seats between the COVID-19 patient and the healthy person.