COVID-19 Virus Survives On Surfaces Within Thin Films: IIT Bombay Study

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Mumbai: The COVID-19 virus survives on surfaces by clinging to thin liquid films. The finding is a part of a study by researchers at IIT-Bombay which provides insights into how the novel coronavirus sustains for hours or days on solid surfaces under ambient conditions.

The study has been published in the journal ‘Physics of Fluids’. According to the study, a thin nanometre liquid film evaporates slowly after the evaporation of the bulk droplet thus prolonging the survival time of the novel coronavirus on a surface, NDTV reported quoting PTI.

The ability to predict the survival of the novel coronavirus on different surfaces can help prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19, the researchers were quoted as saying.

Normal respiratory droplets dry within seconds but those related to the SARS-CoV-2 virus remain for hours.

Since a longer survival time of the virus corresponds to increased chances of being infected, the researchers said it is desirable to disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as door handles or hand-held devices, and within hospitals and other areas prone to outbreaks, the report added.

“We also recommend heating surfaces, because even short duration high temperatures, at which the surface is at a higher temperature than the ambient, can help evaporate the nanometric film and destroy the virus,”  Amit Agrawal, professor at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay was quoted as saying.

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