In research published by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia's national science agency, said that the COVID-19 coronavirus is able to survive for longer on smooth surfaces and in cold temperatures, specifically pointing at paper banknotes, glass and steel, as materials that are more suitable for the virus to survive.
Tested in a laboratory - which means that some factors, including UV-lighting, was not involved in the research - the coronavirus was discovered to be able to last in airborne particles for more than three hours.
The research has been ongoing over a month, with scientists analysing and re-isolating the virus to determine its survivability rate.
During the research, the virus has been exposed to different temperatures, allowing scientists to find out that 40 degrees Celcius allows it to survive for less than 16 hours on cotton and for 24-48 hours on glass, steel, paper and vinyl.
When the temperature was lowered to 30 degrees, it was revealed that cotton preserves the virus for 3 days, and paper banknotes can have it for ove r 21 days.
Under 20 degrees Celcius, the virus was discovered to be able to survive on paper banknotes for up to a month.
"The data presented in this study demonstrates that infectious SARS-CoV-2 can be recovered from nonporous surfaces for at least 28 days at ambient temperature and humidity (20 °C and 50% RH). Increasing the temperature while maintaining humidity drastically reduced the survivability of the virus to as little as 24 h at 40 °C", the study results said.
The team behind the research explained that the results can help scientists to find out how to better mitigate the spread of the virus.
"Establishing how long the virus really remains viable on surfaces enables us to more accurately predict and mitigate its spread, and do a better job of protecting our people," Dr Larry Marshall, CSIRO Chief Executive, said. "Together, we hope this suite of solutions from science will break down the barriers between us, and shift focus to dealing with specific virus hotspots so we can get the economy back on track".