Canberra, Oct 12: Scientists in Australia’s National Science Agency suggested on Sunday that the virus responsible for causing Covid-19 can remain infectious on surfaces such as banknotes, phone screens and stainless steel for as long as 28 days, BBC reported.
This means that the virus can survive for much longer than it was previously believed.
However, the experiment was conducted in the dark, whereas it has already been proven that ultraviolet UV light can kill the virus.
But some experts have cast doubts over the actual threat posed by surface transmission in real life.
Coronavirus are most commonly transmitted when people cough, sneeze or talk.
Previous laboratory tests have found that SARS-Cov-2 can survive for two to three days on bank notes and glass, and up to six days on plastic and stainless steel, although results vary.
However, the research from Australian agency CSIRO found 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 at 20C (68F), which is about room temperature, and in the dark.
In comparison, the flu virus can survive in the same circumstances for 17 days.
The study, published in Virology Journal, also found SARS-Cov-2 survived for less time at hotter temperatures than cooler temperatures; it stopped being infectious within 24 hours at 40C on some surfaces.
It also stayed longer on smooth, non-porous surfaces than on porous materials such as cloth, which was found not to carry any infectious virus past 14 days.