Researchers from Russia’s VECTOR State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology in Novosibirsk, Siberia have figured out another important weakness of Covid-19: ordinary water.
In their study, scientists discovered that about 90 percent of the virus’s particles die in room temperature water in the course of 24 hours, with 99.9 percent succumbing within 72 hours. Furthermore, scientists confirmed that boiling water containing Covid-19 kills it immediately and completely.
Significantly, researchers also found that although the virus does not multiply in dechlorinated and sea water, it can remain viable for some time, with its lifespan depending directly on the water’s temperature. Chlorinated water is also said to be highly effective at killing the virus.
The scientists’ findings were presented Thursday by Rospotrebnadzor, Russia’s consumer protection and human wellbeing watchdog.
On Wednesday, top Rospotrebnadzor sanitary doctor Anna Popova reported to President Vladimir Putin on the agency’s extensive monitoring of coastal sea water, swimming pools, water parks and sources of drinking water, and said that after carrying out hundreds of analyses, no major risk of waterborne infection could be found.
Russia has reported a total of 834,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 630,000 recoveries and 13,802 fatalities as of this week. Unofficial estimates of infection rates are much higher, with Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin recently estimating that as many as 60 percent of the residents of the capital have already experienced and recovered from the disease. Municipal officials put that figure closer to 20 percent. Still, with a population of about 12 million, that means that anywhere from 2.4 million to 7.2 million people in Russia’s coronavirus epicenter have already gone through the infection without serious complications.
Situated in the Koltsovo Science City, VECTOR has access to one of the world’s most comprehensive catalogues of viruses, and was originally created in the 1970s to develop both vaccines and the means to protect against biological weapons.
As the search for a vaccine continues, scientists continue to find out new things about the Covid-19. Last week, researchers at Kansas State University conclusively determined that there is no evidence that coronavirus can replicate in three common species of mosquitos. Earlier, a US Department of Homeland Security biolab discovered that the virus could be killed in seconds by sunlight, heat and humidity.