Ventilation ‘revolution’ needed to speed up Australia’s path out of lockdown

Distinguished Professor Lidia Morawska has been leading the call for a paradigm shift in indoor ventilation to prevent airborne spread of viruses.

Distinguished Professor Morawska, an Australian-based researcher who has been a world leader in raising awareness of airborne spread, said the pandemic necessitated a societal “paradigm shift” on how to prevent COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. She compared what she called a revolutionary push to ventilate our community to the sanitation awakening in the 19th century, before which people were unaware that polluted water systems were causing things like cholera epidemics.

“Then, people were provided with clean water. This would provide us with clean air,” she said. “No one takes responsibility for the air and it’s kind of accepted that the air could be of whatever quality.”

Professor Morawska said the cost of constructing better-ventilated buildings would be outweighed by the economic benefit associated with a healthier society.

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