Experts: Smartphone screens can ‘host’ coronavirus

Health experts have warned that the novel coronavirus, which causes Covid-19, can linger on the screens of smartphones for more than three days.

In a report, Rudra Channappanavar, an immunologist at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, said touchscreen phones “were particularly dangerous.”

Channappanavar said “tiny droplets from coughing and sneezing are likely to stick to the glass phone screens more than other surfaces.” The report further quoted Channappanavar as saying that viruses can linger on touchscreens for “multiple days” or up to 96 hours depending on the temperature.

Another expert said people should wipe and clean smartphone screens in public to avoid contracting the virus, which has afflicted thousand all over the globe.

Bill Keevil, a virologist from the University of Southampton, also said since the virus can live on smartphone screens, it can easily be transmitted from person to person if the screens are not cleaned or wiped down. He added that using disinfectant wipes is a good way to keep smartphone screens free from the coronavirus.

UV light is also said to be an effective way to destroy the virus sticking to phones, door handles, sinks, toilets, among others.

Smartphones are an indispensable tools for most people. However, in light of the continuing pandemic, these tools could be dangerous, considering that people often use them almost all the time, the experts said. A study said on average, a person touches his or her smartphone more than 2,000 times a day.

This concern on “shared surfaces”, meanwhile, has triggered growth in smart home voice control.

Last year, 141 million voice control smart home device shipped worldwide and, despite the key China market being impacted during the first quarter of 2020, the value of voice control during the pandemic will ensure that this year, voice control device shipments will grow globally by close to 30% over 2019, according to tech market advisory firm ABI Research.

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