In India, cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Noida, and Gurugram went into lockdown to combat the spread of the novel Coronavirus which is wreaking havoc not just in the country but all over the world. Close to 3.4 lakh people have been infected with this virus which has already claimed over 14.6 thousand lives globally.
As cities go into lockdown, people are turning their heads to e-commerce websites and mobile applications to buy things, however, the researchers are advising that people should hold off until it is absolutely necessary.
As it turns out that the novel Coronavirus or also known as COVID-19 can survive outside the body of a host for quite some time. it was found that COVID-19 can remain stable and infectious for 72 hours on plastic and cardboard, that’s 3 whole days!!
So, your next order could be well within the range of Coronavirus and could enter your home and your body. The New England Journal of Medicine published its latest study on the life of the Coronavirus on different surfaces.
The researches part of the study took note of the conditions which allowed the SARS-CoV-2 and the SARS-CoV-1 to stay and remain active on different surfaces like plastic, copper, SS (Stainless Steel), aerosols, and cardboard under different scenarios.
The researchers said, “SARS-CoV-2 was more stable on plastic and stainless steel than on copper and cardboard, and the viable virus was detected up to 72 hours after application to these surfaces,”.
The study was undertaken by the researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Hamilton, Montana, Princeton University, University of California, Los Angeles, and the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The research said that on Copper SARC-CoV-2 was not found after 4 hours however SARC-CoV-1 was found to remain active for 8 hours. On Cardboard SARS-CoV-2 survived for 24 hours, while SARS-CoV-1 was measured for 8 hours.
In the past, the Ruhr- Universität Bochum in Germany pointed out that the viruses could remain on the surfaces and maintain its infectious tendencies for up to 9 days in a room temperature ambience. On average, they could survive anywhere between 4 and 5 days. Professor Günter Kampf from the Institute of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine at the Greifswald University Hospital said that “Low temperature and high air humidity further increase their lifespan,”.
As seen, the Coronavirus like plastic and stainless steel however, it does not like copper so much as it was not measured on the copper surface after 4 hours.
Having said that, the findings of the research indicate that the courier packages, smartphone cases, and even the containers can host the novel Coronavirus. Health authorities around the globe are advising that people should wash their hands with soap or run with an alcohol-based hand rub to keep your hands clean. They are also recommending regular wipe-down of the surfaces which are used more often like kitchen top, refrigerator handle, TV remotes and switches.
The Co-Author of the study, Lloyd-Smith who is also a professor at the UCLA of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology say, “This virus is quite transmissible through relatively casual contact, making this pathogen very hard to contain. If you’re touching items that someone else has recently handled, be aware they could be contaminated and wash your hands,”.