Coronavirus is still very much a problem around the world even though many countries, including India, are no longer under lockdown. It is probably more important than ever to make sure one maintains care by washing their hands and disinfecting gadgets, especially smartphones. A new study by Australian researchers has stated that that the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on banknotes, glass, and stainless steel for up to 28 days. This means that the glass on your smartphone’s screen can help the virus live for close to a month if not properly disinfected. 

Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, has found that the virus remained infectious for 28 days on surfaces like plastic banknotes and glass found on mobile phone screens if kept at 20 degrees Celsius. The study can be found in the Virology Journal. “It really reinforces the importance of washing hands and sanitising where possible and certainly wiping down surfaces that may be in contact with the virus,” said the study’s lead researcher Shane Riddell.

The researchers stress the importance of cleaning and disinfecting smartphones to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. The latest study dismisses a previous report that suggested the virus could survive on only for a few days. 

The new study essentially means that you need to regularly clean and disinfect the devices you touch, including smartphones, laptops, and so on. With temperatures starting to dip in India as winter approaches, it is perhaps more important than ever before to clean your devices. The experiments were conducted at 20, 30, and 40 degrees Celsius and showed the virus survived longer at cooler temperatures. “Infectious virus survived less than 24 hours at 40 degrees Celsius on some surfaces,” the study claims.

How to disinfect your phone?

There are several ways to disinfect your smartphone. One way is to use alcohol-based disinfectant wipes or sprays that contain at least 70 percent alcohol. There are UV sanitising products that can disinfect phones, keys, etc. While cleaning the glass on the phone, do not forget to disinfect the phone’s cover as well.