The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 continues to create fear among individuals across the world. There is still a lot we do not know about the virus, and researchers are working round the clock to find out more information to be able to contain the spread. Amidst the researchers, a study was recently released that stated that COVID-19 virus can survive for up to 28 days on mobile phones, banknotes and stainless steel. However, US health expert, Dr Faheen Younus, in a recent viral tweet, claimed it to be a myth. He adds that cell phones are currently not a “risk for Covid.”
Earlier laboratory tests have found that SARS-Cov-2 can survive for two to three days on banknotes and glass and up to six days on plastic and stainless steel. However, the result varies. Australia’s national science agency, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) suggest that SARS-Cov-2 can survive for far longer than thought. The virus was “extremely robust,” surviving for 28 days on smooth surfaces such as glass found on mobile phone screens and both plastic and paper banknotes, when kept in room temperature and in the dark. How to Wash Vegetables and Fruits Right Way? Dos and Don’ts to Properly Handle Groceries During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
However, the experiment was conducted in the dark. UV light has already been shown to kill the virus. This is what Dr Younus pointed out in his tweet. “Myth: Covid survives on phone screens/money for 28 days. Fact: Nonsense. Such studies are conducted in artificial lab conditions: dark, damp without body’s defences. Cell phones, the currency isn’t a risk for Covid. Send me your phone/money if still afraid),” he claims in his tweet. How to Keep Your Home Free of Coronavirus Germs? All You Need to Know About Using Hydrogen Peroxide to Disinfect Surfaces.
Here's the Tweet:
Myth: Covid survives on phone screens/money for 28 days
Such studies are conducted in artificial lab conditions: dark, damp without body’s defenses
Cell phones, currency isn’t a risk for Covid. Send me your phone/money if still afraid:) https://t.co/nxLtNDQ5sf
— Faheem Younus, MD (@FaheemYounus) October 12, 2020
The study in question also found that SARS-Cov-2 survived for less time at hotter temperatures than cooler temperatures. It is also important to note here that the experiments were carried out in virus friendly conditions—a dark room with stable temperatures and humidity. Whatever the result is, it is important to keep clean your phone touchscreens regularly, wash hands and avoid touching one’s face in order to minimise the risk of the infection.