The Covid-19 virus global pandemic has caused serious concern, leaving thousands of dead in its wake.
Much of the planet is quarantined, making it more pertinent than ever to follow basic hygiene rules and habits in an effort to curb the spread of the disease.
Scientists from around the world are conducting study after study and are researching the virus’s patterns of behaviour and ways of transmission to decipher its resistance and how to combat it. One of the main questions of concern to the public is how long the virus can survive on different types of surfaces, especially banknotes and coins which are still widely used in daily transactions.
According to the most recent research, the virus can survive on masks for up to a week, while on banknotes it lives for days. “The impressive thing is about it [virus],” the researchers noted is that there was still a detectable level of infection on the outer surface of a surgical mask after seven days. “That’s why it’s crucial that if you wear a mask, you don’t touch the outside,” Malik Peiris, a Sri Lankan microbiologist and renowned pathologist, explained.
The virus survived less than three hours on printed paper and tissues, while on the second day it disappeared from processed wood and fabrics, as the latest research indicated. On stainless steel and plastic, it lasted between four and seven days, and according to a study by American researchers, the virus survived on plastic and steel for up to 72 hours, but did not last more than four hours on copper. On glass and banknotes, the virus was detected on the second day but had disappeared by the fourth.
The encouraging news, however, is that it is killed by the use of household disinfectants, bleach or frequent hand washing with soap and water, say researchers from Hong Kong University.
Researchers clarified the lab testing results “do not necessarily reflect the possibility of transmitting the virus from normal contact”, as the presence of the virus in research was detected by laboratory tools, not fingers and hands as is the case in everyday life.