The hotter the surrounding temperature, the faster the novel coronavirus dies on surfaces, say researchers at the Israel Institute for Biological Research in Ness Ziona.

The governmental research institute — which is also working toward a Covid-19 treatment and vaccine — says its study indicates the coming summer heat in Israel will neutralize any virus particles on surfaces fairly fast.

Their research showed that the virus disappeared from plastic and metal surfaces within about three hours in an environment heated to 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit). In contrast, the virus remains active for four days in a 22C (72F) environment.

In more good news, the Israeli scientists say there is little danger of virus particles on surfaces getting into air-conditioning systems.
Public-health experts believe that infection is less likely to be transferred via contact with surfaces anyway. The main danger is droplets traveling through the air after infected person coughs.

The scientists emphasized that even if widespread disinfection of surfaces may not be necessary in hot weather, it is still wise to exercise caution when touching surfaces such as elevator buttons and door handles.

The Institute for Biological Research recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot to work together on strategies to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

IIBR Chief Innovation Officer Eran Zahavy said the institute also is collaborating with three Israeli companies in the search for a Covid-19 treatment and vaccine. It is aiding Israel’s national initiative to collect and analyze blood plasma from recovered patients toward this goal.