The virus could survive for 28 days, on Notes, Phones.
12 Oct 2020
The latest research from Australia’s National Science Agency has found that the coronavirus can survive for far longer than we assumed for two to three days. The new study headed by Prof Ron Eccles, former director of Common Cold Centre at Cardiff University, has proved that the virus could survive for 28 days probably on banknotes, mobile phones, steel, glass, paper, and plastic surfaces.
The new study detected the virus on glass, paper, and plastic notes as well as steel even after 28 days on these surfaces at 20C – significantly longer than the earlier studies had indicated. The experiments were carried out in virus- friendly conditions, in a dark room with stable temperatures and humidity. These results emphasize the need to wash hands as well as touchscreens regularly and to avoid touching one’s face in order to minimize the risk of infection.
The study has also proved that the virus could persist more on stainless steel at cooler temperatures that caused outbreaks of Covid-19 at meat processing and cold storage facilities.
Thousands of workers have tested positive at meat processing factories and abattoirs, cold and damp working environments around the world. In brief, it says that the virus can survive on fresh and frozen food.
Amidst the research and controversies related to identifying the secret of infection of the pandemic, research is still going on to find out the vaccine to fight against the virus. There are around 40 different coronavirus vaccines are now in clinical trials, including one being developed by the University of Oxford that is already in an advanced stage of testing.
Research is happening at unbelievable speed. Trials of the Oxford vaccine show it can trigger an immune response, and it is reported that a deal has been signed with AstraZeneca to supply 100 million doses in the UK alone. The first human trial data has indicated the first eight patients taking part in a US study all produced antibodies that could neutralize the virus. Only a vaccine could allow lockdowns to be lifted more safely, and social distancing to be relaxed.
Generally, a vaccine would normally take years to develop. But in the grave context of the pandemic, the researchers hope to achieve the same amount of work in only a few months. Most experts think a vaccine is likely to become widely available by mid-2021.
The challenge is that 60-70% of people needed to be immune to the virus in order to stop it from spreading easily, i.e. herd immunity. But, as assumed and if the vaccine worked perfectly, this would be around billions of people around the world. Even if a vaccine is developed, there will be a limited supply, initially, so it will be important to prioritize. The first priority will go to the healthcare workers who come into contact with Covid-19 patients. The older people where the disease is most deadly would be given second priority if the vaccine was effective in the old-age group where immunity is a challenge when compared to the young age group.