With COVID-19 showing no signs of slowing down, healthcare experts and professionals are stressing on the importance of preventive measures. One such measure is the cleaning of surfaces that are frequently touched.
And what is that one object that you use all day? Your phone! There’s a possibility that your phone can be exposing you to the risk of coronavirus. How? Read on to know all about it.
COVID-19 and your phone
While hand washing and social distancing are excellent ways to prevent COVID-19, there is another way you can step up your vigilance against the deadly virus.
We have been advised to clean anything that we bring in our homes from outside like groceries, the clothes we wore when we went out etc. Similarly, it is crucial that you also disinfect your phone. This is because your phone too can carry the virus.
The coronavirus may be transmitted from one person to another when the infected person coughs or sneezes within 1 metre. But, it has been found that the virus can also survive on surfaces of objects for quite a few hours. And if you touched an object on which the virus exists, you may contract COVID-19.
Coronavirus on your phone surface
So, how can the virus end up on your phone? When you go out to purchase essentials like food or medicines, you come in contact with other humans. You are touching objects like fruits, vegetables, groceries, food packets, currency notes and coins, ATM devices etc. All of these may have been touched by other people. And anyone of them could be carriers of the virus.
And later when you then use your phone, you may transfer the virus that is on your hands to the phone.
How long does the virus last on your phone?
Scientists don’t know exactly how long the virus can live on your phone. But they do know that on shiny or smooth surfaces, it can last up to 72 hours. As we know, the phone screens are generally smooth and shiny.
How can your phone infect you?
It is estimated that on average, we touch our phones 2617 times a day. So even if you wash your hands after coming back home, the moment you touch the phone after washing your hands, the virus will make its way back to your hands. If you eat with these hands, you might get infected.
While making a call, you hold the phone close to your ears. This presents another opportunity for the virus to enter your body.
That is why you must disinfect your phone if you have been outside and you carried your phone with you.
How to disinfect your phone?
Now that you know your phone can give you COVID-19, you may be asking, how should we keep our phones clean? It’s not that difficult!
Before you begin cleaning your phone, take out your phone’s manual or go to the manufacturer’s website to check if there are any warnings or instructions regarding things that may damage your phone? For example, you cannot use a cloth dipped in soapy water to cleanse your phone. Do not use harsh chemicals like chlorine or bleach.
What you need
You may have disinfecting sprays (like Lysol, Dettol or Collin to name a few) in your home. If you don’t then you can buy one as they are easily available. If you have hand sanitizer with high alcohol content (60% or above), you can use that as well.
If you have none of these, you can use the disinfecting solution (like Dettol or Savlon) from your first aid kit and mix it in water to prepare your phone-disinfectant.
Steps for cleaning your phone
- Take a ball of cotton wool.
- Wet your cotton wool or cloth with a disinfectant.
- Wipe every inch of your phone. Remove the cover and cleanse the back of the phone as well.
- Make sure fluids do not enter the phone through its openings.
- Do not spray the cleaner directly onto the phone.
- Let your phone dry out for 5 minutes.
Remember, you have to be as careful as possible. Wash or clean anything that could have come in contact with the virus. Take no risks and be mindful so that you can stay safe and protected.
You can now assess yourself and your loved ones for Coronavirus risk at home with PharmEasy’s AI-Powered Bot – Covid Assist. Click below.