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Heat inside car parked in sunlight ‘can kill most of the virus’, says professor

May 21. 2020
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By The Nation

A new study by the University of Georgia in the US shows that the heat inside a parked car on a sunny day can kill 99.99 per cent of the novel coronavirus.

If a car is parked for 30 minutes in sunshine, the temperature inside the car can rise up to 45 degrees Celsius thanks to shortwave radiation of sunlight.

Travis Glenn, a professor of environmental health science at the university’s College of Public Health, said the virus can live on surfaces for up to three days, but does not last very long in heat.

“So, if it faces hot temperatures like 45 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes, 99.99 per cent of the virus will die,” he said. “It will take only five minutes to kill the virus in 65-degree Celsius heat.”

However, he said, more tests are required to confirm that the virus can be killed by heat.

“We still encourage people to wear face masks when shopping or running errands outside their homes,” he added. “You can also disinfect masks by leaving them inside the car, as long as it is parked somewhere warm.”

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