We Know That Staying Home As Much As Possible, Regular Handwashing, Proper Hygiene And Social Distancing Are Our Best Defence Against COVID-19.
Knowledge of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, is continuously evolving, and our best scientists are racing against time to find a cure or a vaccine. There are still several unanswered questions about this virus but at this point, we do know that it can linger on surfaces.
The bigger question is: How long?
Latest studies note that it can remain in the air for up to three hours. It can survive on copper for up to four hours, on cardboard up to 24 hours and on plastic and stainless steel up to 72 hours.
According to a study published in February, if this new coronavirus is like its ‘cousins’ SARS and MERS, it can linger on surfaces—glass, plastic or metal—for as long as nine days. Yikes.
Scientists also compared this new coronavirus strain against the SARS-CoV-1 which is behind the 2003 SARS epidemic. When dropped onto plastic, they both stay intact longer. Half of the SARS-CoV-2 particles broke down in less than seven hours, but particles could still be detected three days later.
On stainless steel, the half-life of SARS-CoV-2 was estimated at 5.6 hours. On copper, both viruses vanished within a few hours—eight hours for SARS-CoV-1 and four hours for SARS-CoV-2.
Keep in mind that variations can result from environmental factors such as temperature and humidity.
But researchers also noted that some of these viruses do not remain active especially at temperatures higher than 30 degrees Celsius. Your regular household disinfectants also do a great job of wiping them away.