While several studies have examined the novel coronavirus, a new study — conducted by researchers from the University of Hong Kong and published in medical journal The Lancet — adds to the rapidly growing research about its stability. (Last month, American researchers had pointed out the virus was stable on plastic and steel for up to 72 hours, but did not last more than four hours on copper or 24 hours on cardboard.)
In the new analysis, researchers tested how long the coronavirus survives on various surfaces at room temperature. Subsequently, they found that on cloth(like a standard cotton lab jacket) and treated wood, it disappears by the second day. On bank notes and glass, it survived for two to four days, while on stainless steel and plastic, it remained for four to seven days. However, as for the outer layer of a surgical face mask, the researchers “strikingly” found detectable levels of infectious coronavirus even after seven days!
The study also observed that the concentration of the virus on all the studied surfaces reduced quite rapidly over time. Moreover, the virus died instantly when touched by common household disinfectants, including bleach.
Note: The presence of the virus on these objects and surfaces was detected by laboratory tools, and not fingers and hands — as the case would normally be. Therefore, the results do not necessarily reflect the potential to pick up the virus from casual contact.