A new study has revealed that coronavirus can remain infectious in droplets in the air for hours and on surfaces up to days.
According to Reuters, scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, carried out the study.
They attempted to mimic the virus deposited from an infected person onto everyday surfaces in a household or hospital setting, such as through coughing or touching objects.
They used a device to dispense an aerosol that duplicated the microscopic droplets created in a cough or a sneeze.
The scientists then investigated how long the virus remained infectious on these surfaces.
The tests show that when the virus is carried by the droplets released when someone coughs or sneezes, it remains viable, or able to still infect people, in aerosols for at least three hours.
On plastic and stainless steel, the viable virus could be detected after three days.
On cardboard, the virus was not viable after 24 hours.
On copper, it took 4 hours for the virus to become inactivated.
Already China has approved human safety trials of an experimental vaccine for the COVID-19.
The trial of the coronavirus vaccine will take place at China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences and the Hong Kong-listed biotech firm CanSino Biologics.
Scientists estimate that it will take 12-18 months for the vaccine to become available for widespread use.