Omicron Survives 21 Hours On Skin, 8 Days On Plastic: Study
New Delhi: The Omicron variant of coronavirus can remain alive on skin and plastic longer than the Alpha, Beta, Delta and Gamma strains.
A study conducted by Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan has found that Omicron can survive on the skin for 21 hours and more than eight days on any plastic surface. This could be the reason why Omicron is spreading much faster than Delta and other strains.
The findings, yet to be peer-reviewed, have been posted on BioRxiv.
The researchers carried out a comparison of survival time with other variants and concluded that Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta variants remained alive on plastic surfaces for 56 hours, 191.3 hours, 156.6 hours, 59.3 hours, and 114 hours, respectively.
Omicron, on the other hand, can survive on a plastic surface for 193.5 hours, or more than 8 days.
As for skin, the average survival times of the virus were 8.6 hours for the original version, 19.6 hours for Alpha, 19.1 hours for Beta, 11 hours for Gamma, 16.8 hours for Delta and 21.1 hours for Omicron, the study claimed.
The latest variant of SARS-CoV-2 was first detected in South Africa during the last week of November. Omicron subsequently spread at a great pace across the world, replacing Delta as the dominant variant.
India is currently in the midst of an Omicron-driven third wave of COVID-19 pandemic.