Coronavirus: residents urged to clean phone twice a day to combat Covid-19

The Ministry of Education has posted an awareness video to reiterate the importance of cleaning phones regularly

R3EJ77 Man Cleaning Mobile Phone Screen With Yellow Cloth Over Wooden Desk. Alamy
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Education chiefs have called on the public to clean their phones at least twice a day to help stave off the spread of coronavirus.

The Ministry of Education issued an alert on social media to highlight the importance of wiping devices clean, particularly after using them in places where germs are prevalent, such as public toilets.

Evidence suggests that the fast-moving virus can survive on a handset for several days and they often carry so many germs that using a phone after washing your hands could cancel out the cleanliness achieved.

A survey carried out by YouGov last year found nearly 6 in 10 Britons admitted so-called 'toilet texting'.

The step comes in line with the ministry's campaign to raise awareness about the Covid-19 and reduce infection rates.

Washing hands for 20 seconds along with cleaning surfaces and frequently-handled items such as mobile phones and computers is essential to prevent infection.

It is not certain how long the virus that causes Covid-19 survives on surfaces, but it appears to behave like other coronaviruses, according to the World Health Organisation.

“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,” said the organisation on their website

“This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).”

The organisation advised people to clean surfaces with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others.

Apple has recently updated its official guidance to say that iPhone users can use alcohol wipes to clean their phones.

“Using a 70 per cent isopropyl alcohol wipe or disinfecting wipes, you may gently wipe the exterior surfaces of your iPhone,” says the guidance.

Last week, the UAE announced the closure of schools and universities across the country as part of efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Spring break, which was due to begin on March 29, instead got under way on Sunday and will last two weeks. Distance learning will be introduced during the remaining two weeks, with pupils studying from home.

A "sterilisation programme" for all educational facilities will be carried out in all schools, buses and universities during the break.