Here is what the virologist of the State University of Milan, Fabrizio Pregliasco, explained. And here's what countermeasures to take. Without getting anxious!
Yup, the Covid-19 coronavirus is able to survive for a few days on some surfaces. So is it necessary to disinfect each product when returning from the supermarket? No: the important thing is always wash your hands carefully, as soon as you get home and even immediately after putting each item in the fridge or pantry. Let's do some clarity.
How long does coronavirus survive on surfaces?
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine estimated the time of survival of the coronavirus on some surfaces. On plastic it can resist longer, but after 7 hours the infectious capacity is halved, to be reset after 72 hours. On steel it halves in 6 hours and in 48 it breaks down, on cardboard it takes 5 and 24 hours, on copper 2 and 4 hours. Research has analyzed the survival of the virus at room temperature, but there is no reason to think that something different will happen in the refrigerator.
The disinfectants to use
After an ordinary disinfection, made with ethyl alcohol (62-71% ethanol), hydrogen peroxide (0.5% hydrogen peroxide) or bleach (0.1% sodium hypochlorite), the virus, however, dies within a minute.
But the most relevant aspect is that none of the studies, so far, has shown that we can get infected with coronavirus only by touching a surface: even if the virus is detected, it is not said that, in this way, it manages to infect a person (who should pass it from the hands to the mouth, eyes or nose).
For this reason, it is not necessary to pass alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on the purchased packages, as confirmed by the virologist of the State University of Milan, Fabrizio Pregliasco, speaking to the "Corriere della Sera": "In the meantime I should have the misfortune that someone has coughed on it therefore, as on all surfaces the same thing always applies: I don't have to put my hands in my mouth and my hands should be washed often. I don't think it's necessary to disinfect the bag of plastic". Coronavirus is a very strong interhuman transmission, and so far there have never been documented cases of contagion through objects.
Not only, we must not be afraid of swallowing the virus: even if we ingest contaminated food, this would not be enough to infect us. The rule that always applies is to wash your hands before starting to cook, before eating and even after clearing: when we are not sure we have clean hands, we must stay be careful not to touch our face.
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