Virus professor recommends washing down your groceries

Thu, 26/03/2020 - 12:46 -- Editor

A retired virus expert from Queen’s has told how he washes grocery deliveries with soap and water to reduce the chances of picking up Coronavirus.

Speaking in today’s Belfast News Letter, retired professor Bert Rima, 73, said the best way to protect yourself is to give the groceries left on your door step a wash with soapy water if they are covered in plastic or in plastic packaging.

Professor Rima said that while the chances of getting the virus from mail or parcels is much lower, he still takes precautions. “I handle my own mail as follows. I read it and either file it away or throw it away in the recycling. Then I wash my hands.”

Professor Rima added that the virus can survive for surprisingly long periods of time on various surfaces.

He said the best data from the New England Journal of Medicine shows that an infectious dose of the virus is halved in strength in six hours if placed on plastic, on cardboard it is halved in three hours, and on copper less than an hour.

So depending on the initial dose it could hang around for days on plastic and steel.