EXPLAINER: Can you contract coronavirus disease just by touching surfaces?

Bonz Magsambol
Is it safe to go grocery shopping? Watch this explainer video.

Animation by David Castuciano


MANILA, Philippines – How long does the coronavirus stay on surfaces?

Professor Marilen Balolong, a microbiologist and scientist at the University of the Philippines Manila, said that a recent study revealed that the virus could remain viable for up to 72 hours on plastics, 48 hours on stainless steel, 24 hours on cardboard, and 4 hours on copper. 

She pointed out, however, that these findings were obtained from experiments conducted under laboratory conditions – there was controlled relative humidity and temperature – and should be interpreted with caution when considering real-life scenarios.

Experts believe that people are much more likely to be infected through close contact with a coronavirus patient than by touching a contaminated surface and then touching their nose, mouth, or eyes.

Can you contract the novel coronavirus disease just by touching surfaces? Watch this explainer video. – Rappler.com 

Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.