A new study claims that COVID-19 stays on cell phone screens, banknotes, and stainless steel surfaces twice as long as originally expected.
The initial study found that the virus can only survive for two weeks, but a new study by Australian scientists concluded that the virus can actually survive for 28 days.
Researchers from the Australian scientific agency CSIRO and the Australian Centre for Disease Prevention (ACDP) in Geelong found that this virus survives longer at lower temperatures and on non-porous or smooth surfaces such as glass, stainless steel and vinyl
It also stays on paper money longer than plastic money.
ACDP Deputy Director Dr. Debbie Eagles said: “At 20 degrees Celsius, which is room temperature, we found that this virus is very powerful and can survive 28 days on smooth surfaces, such as those on mobile phone screens. Glass and plastic banknotes."
"At the same time, similar experiments on influenza A found that it survived on the surface for 17 days, which highlights how persistent SARS-CoV-2 is."
CSIRO Professor Trevor Drew said that they were surprised by these findings.
He said: "What we want to do is really emphasize how this virus can be spread through contact, rather than just through direct contact with the infected person."
"What we do is we plant seeds on all these different surfaces and monitor them over time to see how many live viruses we can find on the surface."
"We are really surprised... the time to detect the virus is almost twice as long."
He said that although the virus cannot penetrate intact skin, it can infect people who lick their fingers to open bags in supermarkets or touch objects on public transportation.
He said: "We must work hard to stop and make people alert to these behaviors."
The researchers also discovered the details of how temperature affects the virus.
Professor Drew said: "We found that, for example, if you lower the temperature to 6 degrees, theoretically the virus will last 10 times longer."