Various researchers across the world are still trying to develop proper knowledge about the Covid-19 virus. Amid all these researches, a new study has come up which suggests that the Covid-19 virus could survive for about 28 days on the common surfaces like glass and even banknotes in certain conditions.
A laboratory study conducted by Australia’s national science agency suggests the virus that causes Covid-19 can remain on surfaces such as stainless steel and glass, and even on smartphones, for a considerable amount of time.
This is a new research that has been published in the Virology Journal and it claims that SARS-CoV-2 can remain infectious on surfaces for long periods of time, therefore there is a need for good hygiene practices such as regular hand washing and cleaning surfaces.
The Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness (ACDP) conducted this research and found that SARS-CoV-2 survived for a long time at lower temperatures and on non-porous or smooth surfaces such as stainless steel, glass and vinyl, compared to porous compound surfaces such as cotton.
On the other hand, another set of researches at Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO also found that the novel coronavirus survived longer on paper banknotes than plastic banknotes.
CSIRO Chief Executive Larry Marshall said, “Establishing how long the virus really remains viable on surfaces enables us to more accurately predict and mitigate its spread, and do a better job of protecting our people,”
Debbie Eagles, Deputy Director of ACDP added, “At 20 degrees Celsius, which are about room temperature, we found that the virus was extremely robust, surviving for 28 days on smooth surfaces such as glass found on mobile phone screens and plastic banknotes.”
A similar test has been conducted on Influenza virus A, and it was found that the virus managed to survive on smooth surfaces for up to 17 days and the Covid-19 virus lasted for an extra 11 days, indicating its high resilience compared to previously known Influenza virus A according to the researchers.
In this process the researchers first dried the virus in artificial mucus on different surfaces, at concentrations similar to those reported in samples from infected patients and then re-isolated the virus for over a month.
And, with survival times decreasing as the temperature increased, so at 30 and 40 degrees Celsius further experiments were carried out.
Direct sunlight results to inactivate the Covid-19 virus so in order to avoid factoring in the effect of UV light on the virus this whole study was conducted in the dark. Direct sunlight results to inactivate the Covid-19 virus.
While the precise role of surface transmission, the degree of surface contact and the amount of virus required for infection is yet to be determined, establishing how long this virus remains viable on surfaces is critical for developing risk mitigation strategies in high contact areas,” Eagles said.
According to Professor Trevor Drew, Director of ACDP, many viruses remain viable on surfaces outside their host.
“How long they can survive and remain infectious depends on the type of virus, quantity, the surface, environmental conditions and how it’s deposited — for example touch vs droplets emitted by coughing,” Drew said.
“Proteins and fats in body fluids can also significantly increase virus survival times,” he said.
The researchers said, the study may help us to understand the the clear persistence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 in cool environments with high lipid or protein contamination, like meat processing facilities and also will help us to understand how we might better address that risk.