Omicron survives almost 200 hours on plastic, expert warns
Recent research on how long Covid-19 virus can survive on plastic and skin shows that Omicron is significantly more stable than previous variants, said a Thai infectious disease expert on Saturday.
Dr Thiravat Hemachudha, head of Chulalongkorn University’s Information Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases, was commenting on Japanese research showing Omicron can survive almost four times longer on plastic than the original Wuhan variant.
The research also showed Covid-19 virus lasts 20 times longer on plastic than on skin.
“On plastic, the original strain discovered in Wuhan can stay stable for 56 hours, Gamma variant for 59.3 hours, Delta for 114 hours, Beta for 156 hours, Alpha for 191.3 hours and Omicron for 193.5 hours,” Dr Thiravat wrote in a Facebook post.
On human skin, Wuhan virus remained stable for 8.6 hours, Gamma variant for 11 hours, Delta for 16.8 hours, Beta for 19.1 hours, Alpha for 19.6 hours and Omicron for 21.1 hours.
“Although Omicron is less likely to induce severe symptoms in patients, it is still important to frequently clean contact surfaces such as tables, chairs and doorknobs in your home and workplace,” said Thiravat.
“Everyone should also continue to wash their hands regularly to reduce the chance of virus spreading.”
He added that general disinfectant for indoor use can eliminate Covid-19 virus on surfaces within 15 seconds. Similarly, ethanol or 35 per cent alcohol can kill the virus on human skin in 15 seconds.