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Coronavirus Outbreak: How Long The Novel Virus Lives On Surfaces Like Cardboard, Plastic, And Steel, Experts Explain

Does coronavirus spread through surfaces? Does this novel virus stay on steel and plastic for 3 days? All this and more, experts explain

Coronavirus Outbreak: How Long The Novel Virus Lives On Surfaces Like Cardboard, Plastic, And Steel, Experts Explain  


New Delhi: Coronavirus, an infectious respiratory illness that typically spreads via airborne droplets that comes out while coughing or sneezing. The novel virus that was first reported from China’s Wuhan has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as worldwide it has infected more than five lakh people, of which, 24,000 have been reported dead. In India, as of March 27 (10 am), according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the virus has affected 724 people and killed 17.

Also Read: Coronavirus Outbreak: A Complete List Of Places In India Where You Can Get Tested For COVID-19

Amid the spread of the novel coronavirus, every passing day, the fear of contracting the virus is increasing and so are the doubts related to it like how can one get COVID-19, how long the virus stays on different surfaces and so on.

A recently published study in the New England Journal of Medicine analysed the aerosol and surface stability of SARS-CoV-2 and compared it with SARS-CoV-1, the most closely related human coronavirus and answers such queries related to the novel virus. Here are some of the takeaways from the study published and experts view on it:

Also Read: Coronavirus Outbreak: Here Are The Answers To All Your Frequently Asked Questions On COVID-19

1. Coronavirus Lives For Few Hours In The Air:

When an infected person sneezes or coughs, the virus gets suspended in the form of droplets smaller than 5 micrometers – which is known as aerosols. As per the World Health Organisation, an average cough can produce as many as 3,000 droplets and a single sneeze can make up to 40,000. Going by this fact, the researchers of the study says that the suspended droplets or aerosols might remain in the air for about half-hour, before drifting down and settling on different surfaces. The experts of the study explain and add,

These droplets are very small particles, so they might not be pulled by gravity and as a result remain suspended in the air for a long time.

However, according to Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove (Technical Lead for Covid-19) from WHO, “The virus is not airborne.” She explains,

The virus can be transmitted through fomites, which means that the virus can remain on surfaces, but that doesn’t mean that you can get the disease simply by touching an infected surface. The chances of people getting infected via surface transmission are very bleak. Following some of the precautionary measures like washing hands with soap and water or using hand sanitiser and other basic hygiene protocols will surely help in reducing your chances of getting infected.

Also Read: COVID-19: Lockdown Alone Will Not Eradicate Coronavirus, Need More Testing And Isolating, Say Experts

2. Coronavirus Survives Longest On Steel And Plastic:

The researchers who conducted the study have said that the virus survived up to 3 days on plastic and steel. The researchers of the study attempted to mimic the virus being deposited from an infected person onto everyday surfaces in a household or hospital setting and found that the virus tends to stay for longer duration and reacts differently on different surfaces.

World Health Organisation, Indian Council Of Medical Research and health experts say that coronavirus is a very new disease which the world is fighting, there are studies and research happening from different part of the world based on the countries experiences but as of now nobody knows how many cases are being caused directly by contaminated surfaces.

Speaking to NDTV, Dr Rajesh Parikh, Director of Medical Research, Neuropsychiatrist and author of the book (The Coronavirus: What you Need to Know about the Global Pandemic)  adds,

Any object that transmits a virus is a called a fomite. It is important to emphasise that we are still in the early stages of understanding this new virus. The studies being done are new, these might change with time. Besides all viruses are capable of mutations so that their survival time on fomites can itself change with time. The best precaution at this crucial stage is frequent hand washing with soap or sanitiser for at least 30 seconds.

Also Read: Why Does Coronavirus Spread So Easily? Experts Explain

3. Coronavirus Survives Up To 24-Hours On Cardboard And 4 Hours On Copper:

The study done on coronavirus and its action time on different surfaces say that the virus can last on cardboard for up to 24 hours and on copper the least – for about 4 hours, out of all the other surfaces.  So, with this new study in place, should we all be worried about online deliveries as most of us are using online delivery services during the coronavirus outbreak instead of going to stores in person. Are food products packed in cardboard could also be at risk?

Explaining these frequently asked questions, Dr Rajni Kant, Director, Regional Medical Research Centre & Head, Research Management, Policy, Planning and Coordination, ICMR, added,

There is no evidence for these studies, the virus is a very new concept for each one of us. At this point, just think of your hands as the enemy. Wash them regularly and thoroughly with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser. Try not to rub your eyes, pick your nose, or touch your lips and mouth. Take these precautions and we all be able to fight the pandemic.

World

23,96,06,768Cases
20,13,42,617Active
3,33,82,100Recovered
48,82,051Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 23,96,06,768 and 48,82,051 have died; 20,13,42,617 are active cases and 3,33,82,100 have recovered as on October 15, 2021 at 4:15 am.

India

3,40,37,592 16,862Cases
2,03,6782,908Active
3,33,82,100 19,391Recovered
4,51,814 379Deaths
In India, there are 3,40,37,592 confirmed cases including 4,51,814 deaths. The number of active cases is 2,03,678 and 3,33,82,100 have recovered as on October 15, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,86,280 2,384

33,157 6

64,13,418 2,343

1,39,705 35

Kerala

48,29,944 9,246

96,421 1,802

47,06,856 10,952

26,667 96

Karnataka

29,82,399 310

9,607 43

29,34,870 347

37,922 6

Tamil Nadu

26,83,396 1,259

15,451 199

26,32,092 1,438

35,853 20

Andhra Pradesh

20,59,122 540

6,588 27

20,38,248 557

14,286 10

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,008 12

135 4

16,86,976 16

22,897

West Bengal

15,79,012 530

7,576 81

15,52,491 601

18,945 10

Delhi

14,39,311 28

337 1

14,13,885 29

25,089

Odisha

10,33,809 521

4,890 38

10,20,645 477

8,274 6

Chhattisgarh

10,05,614 16

203 4

9,91,841 20

13,570

Rajasthan

9,54,382 8

42 6

9,45,386 2

8,954

Gujarat

8,26,244 34

215 20

8,15,943 14

10,086

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,669 12

111 1

7,82,035 11

10,523

Haryana

7,71,035 16

105 158

7,60,881

10,049 174

Bihar

7,26,016 8

42 6

7,16,313 2

9,661

Telangana

6,68,618 168

4,171 40

6,60,512 207

3,935 1

Assam

6,05,847 207

3,646 157

5,96,263 362

5,938 2

Punjab

6,01,971 33

234 11

5,85,199 16

16,538 6

Jharkhand

3,48,406 11

130 4

3,43,141 7

5,135

Uttarakhand

3,43,729 28

175 22

3,36,157 6

7,397

Jammu And Kashmir

3,30,834 93

935 11

3,25,473 104

4,426

Himachal Pradesh

2,21,113 182

1,387 5

2,16,011 173

3,715 4

Goa

1,77,356 68

679 27

1,73,342 39

3,335 2

Puducherry

1,27,259 49

647 4

1,24,763 53

1,849

Manipur

1,22,432 69

1,444 15

1,19,099 84

1,889

Mizoram

1,10,719 901

13,601 435

96,744 1,332

374 4

Tripura

84,295 4

110 8

83,369 12

816

Meghalaya

82,734 87

892 31

80,411 115

1,431 3

Chandigarh

65,295 10

32 5

64,443 15

820

Arunachal Pradesh

54,958 4

202 22

54,476 26

280

Sikkim

31,722 6

224 1

31,108 7

390

Nagaland

31,516 9

230 8

30,613 17

673

Ladakh

20,867 6

44 2

20,615 4

208

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,675

3 1

10,668 1

4

Lakshadweep

10,365

2 0

10,312

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,640 3

10 1

7,501 2

129

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