Larry Marshall, Chief Executive of CSIRO, said establishing how long the virus survived on surfaces enabled scientists to more accurately predict and prevent its spread, and so protect the community from infection.
The results reinforced the need for good practices such as regular hand-washing and cleaning surfaces, said Debbie Eagles, deputy director of the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness (ACDP).
"At 20 degrees Celsius, which is about room temperature, we found that the virus was extremely robust, surviving for 28 days on smooth surfaces such as glass found on mobile phone screens," she said.
Similar experiments for Influenza A found it survived on surfaces for 17 days.
Further experiments were carried out at 30 and 40 degrees Celsius, with survival times for the SARS-CoV-2 virus decreasing as the temperature increased.
"While the precise role of surface transmission, the degree of surface contact and the amount of virus required for infection is yet to be determined, establishing how long this virus remains viable on surfaces is critical for developing risk mitigation strategies in high contact areas," Dr Eagles said.
ACDP Director Trevor Drew said the research may help explain the apparent persistence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 in cool environments such as meat processing facilities and how that might be better addressed.
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