The novel coronavirus, which causes Covid-19, can survive up to 72 hours on solid and hard surfaces, according to an environmental study conducted by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), an official told Qatar TV on Monday.
As part of the Covid-19 environmental testing study, samples were collected from 17 government and private schools, explained Mariam al-Shamlan, health inspector at MoPH's Food Safety Department.
The study targeted collecting samples from the most touched surfaces to see how long can the novel coronavirus remain active.
From each school, around 20-24 samples were collected. The preliminary outcomes of this study show that the virus can survive up to 72 hours at the solid and hard surfaces, except for surfaces made of copper where the virus survives only up to four hours, whereas on paper it can stay active for up to 24 hours.
The official pointed out that there are a number of factors such as temperature, humidity, air circulation and ventilation that could affect how long the novel coronavirus can survive on surfaces.
Al-Shamlan advised that proper ventilation should be maintained constantly, by allowing open air circulation inside buildings or using ventilators for the purpose. Besides, cleaning and sanitisation of surfaces is extremely important in killing the virus, she stressed.
The official said the samples used for the study were collected from the schools using sophisticated and specialised equipment and tools. The collection of samples will continue and cover more places including shopping centres and health facilities which are frequented by people. Another phase of the same study will collect air and sewage samples.
The study is being conducted by the MoPH in partnership with a number of governmental, educational and research institutions in Qatar, to support and enhance surveillance and contact tracing efforts.
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