On March 19, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing the nation on the coronavirus outbreak, announced a nationwide precautionary ‘Janata Curfew’ on Sunday, March 22, 2020 from 7AM to 9PM. Soon after Janata Curfew was announced, social media got deluged with various posts interpreting the concept and logic behind Janata Curfew. A post went viral on social media in which it has been claimed that coronavirus life is 8 – 12 hours and Janata Curfew is for 14 hours. It is further claimed that for 12 hours virus will not get in touch with the human body, this will kill the virus. Vishvas News investigation and found that the viral post is misleading.
A viral post on shared on instagram by a user named bhallatanya.16 claims: “The Logic behind Janata Curfew…As Corona Virus life at one place is 8 – 12 hours and Janata Curfew is for 14 hrs…. so for 12 hours virus will not get in touch with the human body, this will kill the virus.” The archived version of the post can be checked here.
During the investigation, Vishvas News found a research in The New England Journal of Medicine. As per the study, depending upon the surface the virus is exposed to, it may live for fa ew hours or for 2-3 days. They conducted the study by spraying the virus into the air with the help of a nebuliser creating the environment similar to those observed in samples obtained from the upper and lower respiratory tract in humans. They found that it could be detected up to a minimum of 3 hours later in the air, up to 4 hours on copper surfaces, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to 2-3 days on plastic and stainless steel surfaces.
As per the study, coronavirus can also be spread through the air.
As per World Health Organization (WHO), “It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).
If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.”
The Janata curfew on March 22, 2020 would decrease the contact among people which will help in avoiding the community spread of the disease to some extent.
Vishvas News spoke to Dr. Sudeep Khanna of Indraprastha Apollo regarding the viral claim. Here said: “The survival of Coronavirus on a surface is not known. It is incorrect to say that the virus will die in 8-12 hours.”
As per WHO official it is not certain that coronavirus persists on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions.
According to Dr. Kanupriya Singhal, Health Specialist, UNICEF, “One should emphasise the importance of washing hands repeatedly and avoid touching the face as much as possible to protect themselves from coronavirus. ”
Disclaimer: The #CoronavirusFacts database records fact-checks published since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic and its consequences are constantly evolving and data that was accurate weeks or even days ago might have changed. Remember to check the date when the fact-check you are reading was published before sharing it.
Conclusion: Social Distancing is important; but viral post claiming 14-hr break will kill COVID-19 is misleading.
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