Webinar on Ventilation and COVID-19 with focus on Hospitals

The Faculty of Medicine, together with the Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Built Environment successfully organised the “Webinar on Ventilation and COVID-19 with focus on Hospitals” on the 28 December 2020. The webinar was organised to discuss the issue of ventilation in the Hospital in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. There were around 100 participants for the webinar.

Many healthcare workers have been asking about how to ensure our working environment is safe.

Is the ventilation in the hospital able to protect us from the SARS-CoV-2 virus?

A virus that has been found to be able to spread through aerosols and being airborne.

How can we improve the air quality in the hospital?

We have brought together a group of experts from the Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Built Environment and Faculty of Medicine, the University of Malaya to bring light to the issue.

The topic covered includes:

Covid-19 risks due to poor ventilation by Dr Mohd Ridha bin Muhamad, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

Indoor Physical Environment and the Well Being of Healthcare Workers by Assoc Prof Dr SR Norhayati Binti Mahyuddin, Department of Building Surveying, Faculty of Built Environment

Guide to the COVID-19 for Healthcare Buildings – ASHRAE EPIDEMIC TASK FORCE by Professor Ir Dr Yau Yat Huang, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering.

The webinar was lead by Assoc Prof Dr Marzuki Isahak, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine as the Master of Ceremony and facilitated by Professor Dr Victor CW Hoe, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya.

Question and Answer

Adakah terdapat pihak yang berkelayakan telah mengambil sampel udara di wad-wad pesakit covid atau apa-apa pengujian yang berkaitan dengan sistem HVAC di Hsopital?

Can define the confined space that increase the risk of infection? How big is the space to consider as confined space?

What is the issue of retrofitting or adding-on space in a Hospital after it has been completed?

Can we do environmental swab to confirm the presence of virus in the environment?

Is there a target/ gild standard air flow for air exchange within a closed room/ building?

If we are in an air conditioning room, what should be the best option in making sure good ventilation in that room for both split unit aircond and centralised aircond?

We are planning to organize a temporary shelter home for pt with tuberculosis (gelandangan). No details are yet set for the building or inclusion/exclusion criteria for admission (minimum 6 months stay period). Any air flow engineering control within this context?

Is it possible to create a ‘safe area’ within a workspace as the virus is aerosolized by the MVAC?

Can an effective ventilation alone be an ‘absolute’ PPE in a workplace?

In scenario a,b,c; it is shown that all people in the ‘space’ is infected; how is it that in case 1,2,3 unprotected people in same space not infected? (Referring to lecture Covid-19 risks due to poor ventilation)

What happens in a closed room with any window? Is there any air sanitising to stop the airborne transmission?

In natural ventilation, it was shown that placing hepa filters in such environment even effective?

Has UV iraddiation methods/system in use in UMMC?

Bagaimana pula dengan surau di hospital yang kebanyakannya tiada tingkap dan menggunakan aircond sepenuhnya. Adakah ianya selamat bagi pengguna?

Is there any role for HEPA filter in patients waiting room in an outpatient clinic?

Is the negatives pressure room adequate for a way protection for covid?

In our Hospital now, we open all windows. Is that ok? Because to upgrade air ventilation system need many cost.

Last word of advice from Prof Yau

Last word of advice form Assoc Prof Hayati

Last word of advice from Dr Ridha

Closing remarks by Assoc Prof Marzuki


  1. High SARS-CoV-2 Attack Rate Following Exposure at a Choir Practice — Skagit County, Washington, March 2020
  2. An analysis of three Covid-19 outbreaks: how they happened and how they can be avoided
  3. Numerical Simulation for Safety Zone Evolution in Complex Flow Field under Biochemical Attack Scenarios
  4. Violent expiratory events: on coughing and sneezing
  5. Airborne Transmission of SARS-CoV-2

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