COVID-19 Update: Avoid Touching Surfaces while on the Go

COVID-19 Update: Avoid Touching Surfaces while on the Go
Avoid touching surfaces in public spaces, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

A new study suggests that the virus can survive on hard surfaces for up to 72 hours

OT Staff
March 15 , 2020
01 Min Read

The World Health Organization (WHO) had previously stated that the survival time for the novel coronavirus on surfaces was a "few hours to a few days". A new study by scientists pinpoints the actual time the virus can survive on surfaces. On hard surfaces like plastic and stainless steel, it can last for up to 72 hours. And on cardboard, for up to 24 hours.

The tests, done by the National Institutes of Health, Princeton University and the University of California, Los Angeles, was the first one that looked at the survival rate of the virus on surfaces such as steel, plastic and cardboard. But it was done under stable lab settings. In the real world, conditions may be different. Interestingly, the study also found that some surfaces are less hospitable to the virus. For instance, on copper surface, it could remain stable for only about four hours.


The study also suggests that the virus can spread through the air as well as from touching things that were contaminated by others who have it.

Scientists oberved that the new coronavirus behaves similarly to the SARS virus which had led to an outbreak in 2003. But what sets it apart is how this virus spread much more widely. And how this novel virus is possibly being transmitted by people who are not showing symptoms, making it difficult to spot and contain.

Bear in mind that the findings have not been reviewed by other scientists yet.

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