DOH proposes online caroling, karaoke singing

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DAVAO CITY —Isn’t it too late for a proposal?

This is among the questions raised as the Department of Health (DOH) is recommending to the public to forego physical caroling and karaoke singing during the yuletide season given the health thread brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic.

In an advisory issued on Friday, the DOH recommends the holding of online and virtual activities like online caroling and karaoke singing instead of physically gathering together.

The health department also suggests that people just listen to music instead of actually singing to avoid droplets that may spread the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

DOH specifically said caroling and singing in karaoke may cause the spread of the virus to the people who are actually in the gathering.

In a report published by Science Daily in September 2020, it stated “There are many reports about the spreading of Covid-19 in connection with choirs singing. Therefore, different restrictions have been introduced all over the world to make singing safer. So far, however, there has been no scientific investigation of the amount of aerosol particles and larger droplets that we actually exhale when we sing,” says Jakob Löndahl, associate professor of Aerosol Technology at Lund University.

The DOH advirosy states “Ayon sa pag aaral, mas marami ang na eemit na droplets ng isang tao kung siya ay kumakanta o sumisigaw. Kaya’t mas mataas ang posibilidad na magkahawaan ang mga dumalo sa ganitong pagsasama sama (studies show that more droplets are being emitted by a person while he/she is singing or shouting. This means that the possibility to contract the virus is much higher during this type of gatherings).”

The Science Daily report added “Aerosols are small airborne particles. To get a better understanding of the amount of aerosols and virus particles we actually emit when we sing, 12 healthy singers and two people with confirmed Covid-19 took part in a research project. Seven of the participants were professional opera singers.

The same study shows that singing, particularly loud and consonant-rich singing, spreads a lot of aerosol particles and droplets into the surrounding air.

“Some droplets are so large that they only move a few decimetres from the mouth before they fall, whereas others are smaller and may continue to hover for minutes. In particular, the enunciation of consonants releases very large droplets and the letters B and P stand out as the biggest aerosol spreaders,” says Malin Alsved, a doctoral student of Aerosol Technology at Lund University.

Passing of the microphone, in the case of singing, and other instruments are also likely to happen, and that we can never be sure if the hand of the person who held and passed the object is clean, otherwise, the virus may easily be transferred to the next person and all the others in the room.

The DOH said an increase in new cases of Covid-19 has been observed recently and that the public must be reminded of the risk factors that come with the disease.

Health authorities said health and safety is the best gift that one can give to their loved ones.

Christmas and other celebrations may still be done safely, according to DOH.

But some critics say, the DOH should have issued the advisory earlier for groups to prepare their online caroling activity.-Newsline

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