A research carried out recently has revealed that COVID-19 can last up to 28 days on mobile phone screens, banknotes and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).
Researchers at the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness tested the SARS-CoV-2 virus to see how long it survived on surfaces such as cotton, paper, stainless steel, glass and vinyl.
The scientists explained that “both polymer and paper banknotes were included in the study to gather information on the possible roles of note based currency in general for the potential for fomite transmission.
“Stainless steel is used in kitchen areas and public facilities and is the substrate used in some disinfectant testing standards.
“Glass was chosen due to its prevalence in public areas, including hospital waiting rooms, public transport windows and shopping centres, and high contact surfaces such as mobile phone screens, ATMs and self-serve check-out machines.
“Vinyl is a common substrate used in social settings, tables, flooring, grab handles on public transport, as well as mobile phone screen protector material. Cotton was chosen as a porous substrate, often found in clothing, bedding and household fabrics.”
All experiments were said to have been done in the dark, to negate any effects of Ultraviolet light.
The result of the research revealed that “at 20°C infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus was still detectable after 28 days post-inoculation, for all non-porous surfaces tested (glass, polymer note, stainless steel, vinyl and paper notes).”
Previous studies had put the survival rate of the virus on banknotes at four days; stainless steel at two to three days and seven days on the outside of surgical masks.
The recent study, however, noted that at 40°C, the virus significantly reduced and stopped being infectious within 24 hours.
“Increasing the temperature while maintaining humidity drastically reduced the survivability of the virus to as little as 24 h at 40°C,” the report stated.
“The recovery of SARS-CoV-2 on porous material (cotton cloth) was reduced compared with most non-porous surfaces, with no infectious virus recovered past day 14 post-inoculation.”
The researchers noted that “these results could be used to inform improved risk mitigation procedures to prevent the fomite spread of COVID-19.”