Not less than 45 members of the choir at Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church in the United States have “contracted coronavirus (COVID-19) through the air”.
Los Angeles times reports that three of the members are already hospitalised, while two others are dead.
The choirmaster, Adam Burdick had sent a mail to 121 members of the choir that rehearsals would hold despite despite concerns about the virus already spreading across the country.
In the email, Burdick wrote “I’m planning on being there this Tuesday, March 10, and hoping many of you will be, too,”
However, only 60 of the choristers were present at the choir practice that lasted for about three hours, while an official gave hand sanitiser to them at the entrance.
Singers were also said to have avoided hugging or shaking one another.
About three weeks after, 45 of them were diagnosed with coronavirus. Eight of the patients said none of them coughed, sneezed or looked ill during the choir practice, while they all maintained some distance.
“It seemed like a normal rehearsal, except that choirs are huggy places,” the choir master said.
“We were making music and trying to keep a certain distance between each other.”
The outbreak at the church rehearsal has raised question among experts in the US that COVID-19 could be transferred from person to person through air.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has, however, stated that the notion making the rounds that coronavirus is airborne is in incorrect.
It said the virus that causes COVID-19 was mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks