Virus can live 28 days on bank notes, phone screens

Tuesday October 13 2020

Uganda's bank notes. PHOTO/COURTESY

By Nation.Africa

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, can survive on smooth surfaces, including banknotes and mobile phone screens for almost a month. 

Australian researchers found that the virus can linger for 28 days on both paper and polymer banknotes, at lower temperatures and at room temperature (about 20°C), in laboratory setting.

But in polymer notes, the virus has a faster rate of inactivation compared to paper notes and can stay longer on smoother surfaces compared to permeable materials such as cotton.

The researchers from Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness said besides phones and notes, the virus is also able to survive for those days on stainless steel and vinyl.

“At 20°C, infectious SARS-CoV-2 was still detectable after 28 days post inoculation, for all non-porous surfaces tested such as glass, polymer note, stainless steel, vinyl and paper notes,” states the report

The researchers believe the persistence of virus on both paper and polymer currency “is of particular significance, considering the frequency of circulation and the potential for transfer of viable virus between individuals and geographic locations.”