MOSCOW, March 23. /TASS/. The COVID-19 coronavirus might survive on various surfaces for some time, but it is impossible to contract the infection through parcels, because the virus dies before the parcel is delivered, says Nikolai Briko, Russian Healthcare Ministry’s chief visiting epidemiologist.
The scientist opined that "it would be wrong to neglect the possibility" of contact transmission of coronavirus through objects. "However, in regards to parcels, they are epidemiologically irrelevant, because the virus dies before these parcels are delivered," he said Monday.
He explained that the coronavirus, just like other viruses, dies in the external environment rather quickly, because it cannot live outside a living cell.
"We have data that the virus survives for different periods of time on various materials: thus it can survive 2-3 hours on metallic surfaces, but it can survive up to several days on cardboard and plastic. Such data exists and it must be taken into account, [in particular] during decontamination procedures," he added.
A pneumonia outbreak caused by the COVID-19 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV) was reported in central China in late December 2019. Cases of the new coronavirus have also been reported from more than 190 countries and territories, including Russia, which by now has 438 cases. The World Health Organization says that the novel coronavirus cases across the globe have exceeded 300,000, with more than 14,000 deaths. The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially described the situation with the novel coronavirus as a pandemic.