Tucked away on page 11 of The Sunday Times is a short article about several studies that show that people cannot get infected with covid-19 from metal, plastic or other contaminated surfaces, as originally thought at the beginning of the pandemic. This is a major surprise.
New research into the infectious potential of contaminated surfaces has forced a downgrading of early concerns that people might fall ill by touching a door knob or a light switch. Monica Ghandi, Professor of medicine and infection diseases at the University of California said that in effect, “the surface issue has essentially gone away.” “Its not through surfaces – Its from being close to someone spewing virus from their nose and mouth, without in most cases knowing they are doing so”.
So, the evidence suggests that surface traces of covid-19 are not strong enough to make people ill. Attempts to grow covid-19 in Italian laboratories from surface traces have been unsuccessful, which have led to these conclusions.
Hospitals, Hotels and public agencies have collectively spent billions of pounds “deep cleaning” decontamination routines, and the hospitality industry reckon they have spent at least £7 billion. Whether this was money wasted remains to be seen, although most doctors and the Government still recommend regular handwashing as a sensible precaution. However, it may no longer necessary to sing “Happy Birthday” twice may no longer be necessary, as originally recommended by the World Health Organisation.
Surprisingly, this important article does not to have been headlined by other mainstream media, or the question put to Government ministers. I assume the latest UK slogan “HANDS, FACE, SPACE” will remain, when it should really perhaps change to “SPACE, FACE, HANDS”, as mask wearing and social distancing are far more important in suppressing the spread of coronavirus than hand-washing for 20 seconds.