Two studies conducted by scientists of the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) show that the risk of being infected with Covid-19 by touching contaminated surfaces is very low, “less than five in 10,000”.
Xinhua News Agency’s report said the studies analysed 350 samples taken from surfaces that are frequently touched in everyday life such as business-entrance door handles, ATM keypads and traffic light buttons.
The studies, published on Thursday, showed that 29 of these surfaces had traces of the novel coronavirus, but the virus concentrations were “so low that the risk of infection from touching a contaminated surface was estimated to be low”.
The scientists concluded that frequently touched surfaces probably play a minimal role in community transmission of the virus.
However, they also said that this may not apply to objects such as tables and dishes, on which people might cough or sneeze more easily and where “droplets with high viral loads” might be found.
Caution and measures such as hand disinfection might still be necessary, according to one of the studies which found that disinfecting surfaces was less effective than hand disinfection, which “substantially reduces the risks of infection”.