The virus responsible for the covid-19 disease can stay intact for up to 28 days under laboratory conditions. the infectious virus resides on smooth surfaces such as currency, phone glass, and stainless steel. While the world thought that it was about to get past to the whole covid-19 situation, nature throws another rock right at its face, dragging it to the rock bottom.
The novel coronavirus has been going on for a while now. About 9 months into the global pandemic, the disease has taken lives on figures that were beyond any rationality and one’s imagination. The SARS-Cov-2 or the coronavirus may stay a little longer than we initially planned it to be. With the newfound discovery about the virus, it becomes difficult to operate under such conditions and taming a population as large as 1.33 billion is no joke, on the other hand, the surface transmission has set fear in the hearts of many people.
WHO says that the transmission of the virus through the surfaces maybe a little cause of worry as it can stay as long as 28 days. These findings were made by Australia’s national science agency which conducted the experiment in dark and said that UV rays were sure to kill the virus.
New findings release new facts about the virus as there is not much known about it. About last month in august the WHO told the world that the virus for a fact was airborne and that anybody could fall sick if breathed the same air which had a virus on particles or droplets that may come out of a person’s mouth and could transmit through nose, mouth, and eyes.
What does the recent study say about the virus?
Earlier laboratory tests revealed that the coronavirus was capable of surviving on glass and banknotes for two days and up to six days on plastic and stainless steel. Researchers at CSIRO tested the longevity of the virus on three temperatures in cool and dark conditions. The scientists found out that SARS-Cov-2 was extremely robust when observed at 20 degrees Celsius that too on mobile phone screens and plastic much easier than compared to any other material or surface.
At 30 degrees there was a sharp dip in the survival rate dropping to only 7 days and when put under 40 degrees the survival capacity of the virus reduced drastically to 24 hours.
When tested on porous surfaces the survival rates for the virus were again distinctively shorter for up to 14 days at normal temperatures and 16 hours on the highest. porous materials that were used included cotton. director of the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness, Trevor Drew said that an extremely sensitive methodology was adopted which included drying up the samples of viruses on different materials before testing them. This method found that the virus could easily infect cell structures.
He told public broadcaster ABC that it did not mean that the amount of virus would be sufficient in infecting someone. Drew also added that if these samples were touched by bare hands and licked their hands, touched their nose or eyes, due to this carelessness they could get infected upwards of two weeks that they had been infected.
He further stated that the amount of virus required to infect a specific bunch is yet to be determined and that CSIRO will soon deliver guidelines for the same.
Is all this necessary?
CSIRO chief executive Dr. Larry Marshall said that knowing about how long the virus may remain viable on the surfaces will help us accurately predict and curb the spread. The authors from the study even suggested that the active duration of the virus may be longer on stainless steel and could infect people easily outside a cold storage or meat processing factories. The researchers also hinted that the previous studies may show that the virus may stay alive on frozen and packed foods for a long time. However WHO has not supported any claims of the type yet. it gave an official statement which mentioned that no case of transmission of the virus has been reported through packed or processed foods. But WHO does provide a list to prevent cross contamination.
Why is there so much disapproval of the study?
Prof Ron Eccles, former director of Common Cold Centre at Cardiff University, said that indicating the virus survives on smooth surfaces for 28 days is only a means of creating unnecessary fear in the public.
Also, there was a lot of shade thrown on the methods used for the study. Some people may have views that the mucus is a part through which the virus spreads from the nose and mouth. However, no mucus was involved in any part of the study.
Emanuel Goldman, professor of microbiology at Rutgers University said in a paper published in July that the transmission of the virus through intimate surfaces is very small. He even stated that it was all theory and not at all closely linked to real-life scenarios.
The novel coronavirus has already proved fatal enough for the whole world crashing down economies to security. The health sectors are running out of resources and still, there is no sign of relief. With the covaxin to be launched by the end of the year, people have their hopes high that the vaccine might bring some relief to the people’s misery.