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Covid-19 can linger for 28 days on items, including banknotes and phones: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on October 12, 2020 Published on October 12, 2020

The virus can linger on currency notes for 28 days especially if stored in dark and cool conditions   -  REUTERS

But the survival rates of the virus decreased as conditions became hotter

According to research conducted by Australia’s national science agency, coronavirus can linger on items, including banknotes and phones, for 28 days, especially in cool and dark conditions.

The study was published in the journal EurekAlert!

Researchers at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) examined the longevity of SARS-CoV-2 in the dark at three temperatures. They showed through the series of experiments that the survival rates decreased as conditions became hotter.

Temperature factor

The team of researchers noted in their study that at 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit), SARS-CoV-2 was “extremely robust” on smooth surfaces — like mobile phone screens — surviving for 28 days on glass, steel, and plastic banknotes.

At 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit), the survival rate dropped to seven days and plunged to just 24 hours at 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), the study added.

The researchers observed that the virus survived for shorter periods on porous surfaces, such as cotton — up to 14 days at the lowest temperatures and less than 16 hours at the highest.

This time stretch is significantly longer than the previous claims. Other studies claimed that the virus can survive for up to four days on non-porous surfaces.

Trevor Drew, director of the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness, stated that his team dried the samples of the virus before testing its survival on different items. They adopted an “extremely sensitive” method that found traces of live virus able to infect cell cultures.

“This doesn’t mean to say that that amount of virus would be capable of infecting someone,” he told public broadcaster ABC.

He added: “If a person was careless with these materials and touched them and then licked your hands or touched your eyes or your nose, you might well get infected upwards of two weeks after they had been contaminated.”

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Published on October 12, 2020
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