long does the novel Coronavirus survive on surfaces?
Currently available scientific evidence shows that
the survival time of the virus on surfaces varies
depending on the type of surface considered. The
of the Higher Institute of Health concerning
the recommendations on the sanitization of
non-healthcare facilities in the current COVID-19
emergency (surfaces, indoor environments and
clothing) and the May
22, 2020 memo report
the detection time of viral particles on the most
common surfaces, varying from several
hours (e.g. on paper) to several
days (e.g. on plastic and stainless steel).
However, it must be considered that the data
available so far, being generated by experimental
conditions, must be interpreted with caution, also
taking into account that the presence of viral RNA
does not necessarily indicate that the virus is
vital and potentially infectious.
The use of simple disinfectants can kill the virus
by eliminating its ability to infect people, e.g.
disinfectants containing alcohol (ethanol) or sodium
Remember to clean frequently used items (mobile
phone, earphones, microphone) first with
soap and water or other neutral detergents and
then disinfect them with products
containing sodium hypochlorite (bleach) or ethanol
(alcohol), following the manufacturer's instructions.
Read the ISS
report Interim recommendations on sanitizing
non-health care facilities during the current
COVID-19 emergency: surfaces, indoor spaces, and
are the rules for sanitization/hand washing?
The purpose of hand washing is to ensure proper hand
cleansing and hygiene through mechanical action.
Common soap is sufficient for hand hygiene. In the
absence of water, so-called alcohol-based hand
sanitizers can be used.
If soap is used, it is important to rub your hands
for at least 60 seconds. If soap is not available,
use a hydroalcoholic solution for at least 20-30
Commercially available products for hand
sanitization in the absence of soap and water (medical
and surgical devices and authorised biocides with
microbicidal action) should be used when the hands
are dry, otherwise they are not effective.
It is important to wash your hands:
touching each other's eyes/nose/mouth (e.g. to
smoke, use contact lenses, brush teeth, etc.).
taking medications or administering medications
Before and after
handling food, especially raw food
medicating or touching a wound
changing a baby's diaper
touching a sick person
touching an animal
attending public places (shops, clinics,
stations, gyms, schools, cinemas, bus, office,
etc.) and, in general, as soon as you return
touching other people.
It is also a good practice to cough/sneeze in your
elbow crease to avoid contaminating your hands, with
which you can subsequently transmit your
microorganisms (e.g. by touching your mobile phone,
door handle, etc.).
Finally, it is recommended to use disposable tissues
to blow your nose, (possibly eco-friendly tissues),
and to dispose of them in the waste, washing your
hands, immediately after use.
is the difference between sanitation, disinfection,
sanitization, and other cleaning procedure
Sanitization: it is a "series of cleaning
and/or disinfection procedures and operations",
which includes the maintenance of good air quality,
changing the air frequently in all environments.
Disinfection: is a treatment to reduce the
microbial load of environments, surfaces and
materials and must be carried out using disinfectant
products (biocides or medical and surgical devices)
authorized by the Ministry of Health. These products
must be labelled with the registration/authorisation
Hygiene: this is the equivalent of cleaning
and is intended to make the environment hygienic,
i.e. to clean the environment by eliminating the
harmful substances present. Products without an
authorisation from the Ministry of Health, which are
labelled with indications on their activity, e.g.
against germs and bacteria, are not products with a
proven disinfectant activity but are simply
environmental cleaners (sanitisers).
Cleansing: consists in the removal of dirt
and microorganisms, with a subsequent reduction of
the microbial load. Cleaning is mandatory before
disinfection and sterilization because the dirt is
rich in microorganisms that actively multiply in it
and can reduce the activity of disinfectants.
Cleaning: cleaning is carried out using
environmental cleaning/hygienising products - the
two terms are equivalent - which remove dirt by
mechanical or physical action.
Sterilization: physical or chemical process
that leads to the targeted destruction of every
living microbial form, both in vegetative and spore
it safe to receive packages from countries where
COVID-19 has been reported?
Yes. The WHO has stated that the likelihood of an
infected person contaminating commercial goods is
low and the risk of catching the virus from a
package that has been exposed to different
conditions and temperature is also low.
it necessary to spray the streets with disinfectants
There is no evidence that walking surfaces are
involved in transmission of the virus. Moreover,
spraying hypochlorite could increase the amount of
harmful substances in the environment. Street
cleaning with conventional soaps/detergents is still