During this period of uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM) has established a Special Interest Group (SIG) on COVID-19. SIG comprises of Fellows of the Academy aim to review key research findings around the world and issue fact sheets to help the public understand the implications and limitations of the research studies.
The group interpreted two major research which was published between 16 March to 20 March 2020.
The first research reviewed was a study by the scientists at the National Institutes of Health (USA) to determine how long can the SARS-CoV-2 virus last on surfaces, compared alongside with the SARS-CoV-1 virus by spraying the viruses into a tank.
SARS-CoV-1 is the virus associated with the SARS epidemic and SARS-CoV-2 is the virus associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Research study here: Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1
The SIG explained the significance of the research which suggests that plastic and steel surfaces are more likely than copper and paper surfaces to have viable virus.
“This suggests that we should take care to clean plastic and steel surfaces because these are more likely to have a viable virus for a longer period. The risk of infection is much higher from close contact with an infected person than from touching a contaminated plastic or steel surface.
Plastic and steel surfaces should be cleaned properly and tissue paper that an infected person sneezes into should be disposed of carefully. Everyone should continue to keep clean hands and to wash their hands regularly and avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth,” it said in its review.
The SIG also reviewed another study done by researchers at Imperial College London, Columbia, and Tsinghua University which were building a computer model to study about the coronavirus, where they found that the virus was undetected for weeks and that many people were asymptomatic.
“This research confirms what doctors already knew, that unlike SARS where people developed symptoms quickly, Covid-19 does not always cause symptoms immediately.”
“Public should continue to practice social distancing: stay at home as much as possible and if you go out, wear a mask and stay 3-6 feet away from other people.”
Download ASM’s research studies fact sheets here:
**All previous posts about COVID-19 here: https://sciencemediacentremalaysia.com/tag/covid-19/