The World Health Organization admitted that there was "emerging evidence" that the coronavirus could be transmitted through particles in the air, reversing months of claims that no such evidence existed.
“We acknowledge that there is emerging evidence in this field… therefore we believe that we have to be open to this evidence and understand its implications regarding the modes of transmission and also regarding the precautions that need to be taken," WHO Professor Benedetta Allegranzi said at a virtual virtual press briefing Tuesday.
The admission came a day after a group of scientists stated that the coronavirus can spread through the air beyond two meters.
The scientists said that microscopic droplets which are exhaled when a person breathes can remain in the air for hours and can spread for dozens of meters.
Social distancing guidelines in Israel and other countries around the world have set two meters as the distance at which people must keep apart from each other to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The WHO has faced criticism in recent months for its positions on the coronavirus which have often been at odds with the findings of the scientific community. The WHO did not recommend wearing facial masks until June. In January, the WHO claimed that there was "no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission" after the virus had spread for over a month in Wuhan, China.
Over 11.6 million around the world have been infected with the coronavirus since the pandemic began in China in December, with approximately 538,000 fatalities.