A WhatsApp forward is doing the rounds which claims that Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a 14-hour long ‘Janta Curfew’ on 22 March from 7 am to 9 pm because the lifespan of the coronavirus at one place is only 12 hours and if we all follow the Janta Curfew religiously then the chain will be broken.
The forward also lauds PM Modi for this visionary appeal and calls for a ‘Janta Curfew’. The viral forward also claims that PM Modi was referring to the aforementioned reasons when he called for a 14-hour long ‘Janta Curfew’. “This is what PM Modi refers to us to do on 22/2/2020 at 5 pm to 5.05 pm”, additionally the message reads.
India is being lauded by several other countries and global health agencies for taking proactive efforts in fighting the novel coronavirus. Indian political parties, celebrities, and notable personalities have united in the fight against Covid-19. In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, PM Modi, at 8 pm yesterday, addressed the nation and called for a Janta Curfew on 22 March along with highlighting key issues with the coronavirus and how fellow countrymen can actively and effectively fight it.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 19, 2020
Now, we began to fact check the claim that the coronavirus can only survive for 12 hours at one place. We first checked the life of coronavirus at the World Health Organization’s official website. In the Q&A section, we found that the WHO is not certain about the lifespan of novel coronavirus – it has mentioned that the novel coronavirus seems to behave like other viruses from the same corona family, but is speculative in nature at the moment.
The detailed WHO Q&A can be viewed below:
WHO is continuously monitoring and responding to this outbreak. This Q&A will be updated as more is known about COVID-19, how it spreads and how it is affecting people worldwide. For more information, check back regularly on WHO’s coronavirus pages. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
Now, to get more information about the survival period of other coronaviruses, we performed a custom Google search with a combination of several keywords. We found an excerpt from a book headlined under ‘CORONAVIRUS RESEARCH: KEYS TO DIAGNOSIS, TREATMENT, AND PREVENTION OF SARS’. The report extensively talks about the lifecycle of the SARS coronavirus. As WHO has mentioned, though not with complete surety, that the novel coronavirus seems to behave in a similar manner as of other coronaviruses, we took this report as a reference to know the lifecycle of the novel coronavirus. However, it is not known yet if the lifecycle of the novel coronavirus will be exactly the same as that of other coronaviruses.
For coronavirus investigators, the recognition of a new coronavirus as the cause of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was certainly remarkable, yet perhaps not surprising (Baric et al., 1995). The cadre of investigators who have worked with this intriguing family of viruses over the past 30 years are familiar with many of the features of coronavirus biology, pathogenesis, and disease that manifested so dramatically in the worldwide SARS epidemic.
During our search for more information on the issue, we found a report published by Live Science that throws more light on the issue and speculates about the lifespan of the novel coronavirus.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Wednesday (March 18) to include a warning not to mix bleach with household cleaning products and to include an update on the publication of the findings. As the coronavirus outbreak continues to accelerate in the U.S., cleaning supplies are disappearing off the shelves and people are worried about every subway rail, kitchen counter and toilet seat they touch.
As per the aforementioned report, the novel coronavirus can remain viable in the air for up to 3 hours, on copper for up to 4 hours, on cardboard up to 24 hours and on plastic and stainless steel up to 72 hours. The article also informs that the lifespan quoted by them is a result of a study done by medRxiv on March 11. A .pdf version of the said study can be viewed below.
Now, we searched Google to check if the virus has anything to do with a 12 or 14-hour long time period specifically. During this phase of our search, we found a report by The New York Times that extensively talks about the lifespan of novel coronavirus under various different conditions.
A new study could have implications for how the general public and health care workers try to avoid transmission of the virus. The coronavirus can live for three days on some surfaces, like plastic and steel, new research suggests.
As per an excerpt of the report published by The New York Times, “The new study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, also suggests that the virus disintegrates over the course of a day on cardboard, lessening the worry among consumers that deliveries will spread the virus during this period of staying and working from home.” The study report published in the New England Journal of Medicine can be viewed below.
We also found a report published by Medical News Today, which suggests that human coronaviruses can remain infectious on inanimate surfaces at room temperature for up to 9 days. At a temperature of 30°C [86°F] or more, the duration of persistence is shorter. Veterinary coronaviruses have been shown to persist even longer for 28 days.
A recent paper looks at how long coronaviruses can survive on various types of surfaces. It finds that the virus tends to persist longer in colder, more humid conditions. The authors also ask how we can destroy coronaviruses. The novel coronavirus, now officially known as COVID-19, has been making headlines since it first came to light, late in 2019.
We also checked for the Government’s official statement on the Janta Curfew and what we found indicated that the call is just a proactive measure to fight the Covid-19. Here’s a tweet from the Prime Minister of India where he made one such announcement.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 19, 2020
As it is evident from our fact check above that there is no clear information on the lifespan of the novel coronavirus. However, various study reports have suggested a similar lifespan as that of other coronaviruses. So we reached the conclusion that PM Modi’s motive behind calling for a ‘Janta Curfew’ was just to curb the spreading of novel coronavirus and the Government has not claimed that the Janta Curfew is called to kill the virus hence the claim turned out to ‘Misleading’ in our fact-check.
- Google Search
- Research Reports
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