Coronavirus Life on Surfaces |
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Coronavirus Life on Surfaces

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It is always better to wait. I was compiling this data, asked by one of the journalists and WEBMD posted it today. I am sharing the same with all of you.


doorknobs, jewellery, silverware

5 days


furniture, decking

4 days


packaging like milk containers and detergent bottles, subway and bus seats, backpacks, elevator buttons

2-3 days

Stainless steel

refrigerators, pots and pans, sinks, some water bottles

2-3 days


shipping boxes

24 hours


pennies, tea kettles, cookware

4 hours


soda cans, tinfoil, water bottles

2-8 hours


drinking glasses, measuring cups, mirrors, windows

Up to 5 days


dishes, pottery, mugs

5 days



The length of time varies. Some strains of coronavirus live for only a few minutes on paper, while others live for up to 5 days.



Coronavirus doesnt seem to spread through exposure to food. Still, its a good idea to wash fruits and vegetables under running water before you eat them. Scrub them with a brush or your hands to remove any germs that might be on their surface. Wash your hands after you visit the supermarket. If you have a weakened immune system, you might want to buy frozen or canned produce. 



Coronavirus hasnt been found in drinking water. If it does get into the water supply, your local water treatment plant filters and disinfects the water, which should kill any germs.

Coronaviruses can live on a variety of other surfaces, like fabrics and countertops. 


To limit your chances of contracting or spreading coronavirus, clean and disinfect all surfaces and objects in your home and office on a daily basis. This includes:

  • Countertops
  • Tables
  • Doorknobs
  • Bathroom fixtures
  • Phones
  • Keyboards
  • Remote controls
  • Toilets

You may use a household cleaning spray or wipe. If the surfaces are visibly dirty, clean them first with soap and water and then disinfect them.

Keep surfaces clean, even if everyone in your house is healthy. People who are infected may not show any symptoms, but can still shed the virus onto surfaces.

After you visit the drugstore or supermarket, or bring takeout food or packages, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water. Do the same after you pick up a delivered newspaper.


Additional information

Porous hospital materials, including paper and cotton cloth, maintain infectious SARS-CoV for a shorter period of time compared to non-porous material. [(U) Lai MY, Cheng PK, Lim WW. Survival of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2005;41(7):e67-e71.

Dr KK Aggarwal

President CMAAO, HCFI and Past National President IMA

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