The novel coronavirus survives for 28 days on banknotes, glass and other common surfaces, according to a study. SARS-CoV-2 is "extremely robust" and remains for two fortnights on smooth surfaces including glass found on grab handles, rails, mobile phone screens and plastic banknotes at room temperature or 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit), according to a research by Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness. A flu virus generally survives for 17 days.
"The persistence on glass is an important finding, given that touchscreen devices such as mobile phones, bank ATMs, supermarket self-serve checkouts and airport check-in kiosks are high touch surfaces which may not be regularly cleaned and therefore pose a transmission risk of SARS-CoV-2," said the research published on Monday in Virology Journal. The mobile phones can harbour pathogens responsible for nosocomial transmission, and unlike hands, are not regularly cleaned, it noted.
The research further said that COVID-19 causing virus survives for a longer period in cold conditions, implying it is potentially challenging to control it in winter than summer. At 40 degrees Celsius, the survival chances of the virus falls to less than a day, said the research.
The transmission of coronavirus generally happens through direct contact with an infected person, especially through coughing, sneezing, speaking, singing and even breathing. The virus may also contaminate surfaces when these particles settle, creating so-called fomites that the researchers said "may also be an important contributor in transmission of the virus."
The study found the longer survival time of virus as against seasonal flu on banknotes "of particular significance, considering the frequency of circulation and the potential for transfer of viable virus both between individuals and geographic locations."
Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus cases in India currently has crossed 70 lakh-mark in the country, and the fatalities count have surged to 1,08,334.