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Novel coronavirus can last 28 days on glass, currency, Australian study finds

MELBOURNE/SYDNEY (Reuters) – The virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on banknotes, glass and stainless steel for up to 28 days, much longer than the flu virus, Australian researchers said on Monday, highlighting the need for cleaning and handwashing to combat the virus.

FILE PHOTO: Commuters ride a train in Sydney, Australia, August 19, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Findings from the study done by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, appear to show that in a very controlled environment the virus remained infectious for longer than other studies have found.

CSIRO researchers found that at 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) the SARS-COV-2 virus remained infectious for 28 days on smooth surfaces such as plastic banknotes and glass found on mobile phone screens. The study was published in Virology Journal.

By comparison, Influenza A virus has been found to survive on surfaces for 17 days.

“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 study involved drying virus in an artificial mucus on a range of surfaces at concentrations similar to samples from COVID-19 patients and then recovering the virus over a month.

Experiments done at 20, 30 and 40 degrees C showed the virus survived longer at cooler temperatures, longer on smooth surfaces than on complex surfaces such as cotton, and longer on paper banknotes than on plastic banknotes.

“So heading into summer that’s certainly going to be an important factor that the virus won’t last as long in the warmer temperatures,” Riddell said, referring to the upcoming southern hemisphere summer.

All the experiments were done in the dark to remove the impact of ultraviolet light, as research has shown direct sunlight can kill the virus.

“So in the real world results would likely be shorter than what we were able to show,” Riddell told Reuters.

Researchers said given that proteins and fats in body fluids can also sharply increase virus survival times, their study may help explain the apparent persistence and spread of the virus in cool environments like meat-packing facilities.

Australia has fared much better than most other rich nations in combating COVID-19, with a total of about 27,000 infections and 898 deaths in a population of 25 million.

The epicentre of the country’s second wave of infection, Victoria state, reported 15 new cases on Monday, well shy of a target of less than five which the government has set for the easing of a hard lockdown in the state capital Melbourne.

New South Wales, the most populous state, reported six new cases on Monday, five of whom were returned travelers in quarantine.

Reporting by Sonali Paul and Stefica Nicol Bikes; Editing by Stephen Coates

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Novel coronavirus survives 28 days on glass, currency, Australian researchers find

By Sonali Paul

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – The virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on banknotes, glass and stainless steel for up to 28 days, much longer than the flu virus, Australian researchers said on Monday, highlighting the need for cleaning and handwashing to combat the virus.

Researchers at Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, found that at 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) the SARS-COV-2 virus remained infectious for 28 days on smooth surfaces such as plastic banknotes and glass found on mobile phone screens. The study was published in Virology Journal.

By comparison, Influenza A virus has been found to survive on surfaces for 17 days.

CSIRO’s research involved drying virus in an artificial mucus on a range of surfaces at concentrations similar to samples from COVID-19 patients and then extracting the virus after a month.

Experiments done in controlled laboratory environments at 20, 30 and 40 degrees C showed that the survival time declined as the temperature increased.

“Establishing how long the virus really remains viable on surfaces enables us to more accurately predict and mitigate its spread and do a better job of protecting our people,” CSIRO Chief Executive Larry Marshall said in a statement.

Proteins and fats in body fluids can also sharply increase virus survival times.

“The research may also help to explain the apparent persistence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 in cool environments with high lipid or protein contamination, such as meat processing facilities, and how we might better address that risk,” said Trevor Drew, director of the CSIRO’s Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness.

Australia has fared much better than most other rich nations in combating COVID-19, with a total of about 27,000 infections and 898 deaths in a population of 25 million.

The epicentre of the country’s second wave of infection, Victoria state, reported 15 new cases on Monday, well shy of a target of less than five which the government has set for the easing of a hard lockdown in the state capital Melbourne.

New South Wales, the most populous state, reported six new cases on Monday, five of whom were returned travelers in quarantine.

(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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Asia Today: Australian state warns non-complying public | St. Louis business news

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The premier of Australia’s Victoria state is stepping up his fight with members of the public who don’t comply with pandemic regulations, saying close contacts of those infected who refuse a test will have to spend 21 days in quarantine.

The state government has announced mandatory quarantine will be extended by 10 days for close contacts if they decide not to be tested on the 11th day of isolation. The change will come into effect at midnight Sunday.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said a “very, very high percentage” of people had submitted to testing but the rule was designed to provide authorities with an even more complete picture.

“This is just double-checking, triple-checking that you haven’t, in fact, still got the virus,” he said.

Victoria reported one more death and 12 new cases on Sunday, ending a three-day stretch without a fatality. The figures take Victoria’s death count from the virus to 810 and the national toll to 898.

Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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