One of the most common questions the public has been asking in the wake of the coronavirus crisis is how is the virus spreads. Experts have warned the public that while the primary way people contract coronavirus is from person-to-person contact, they have also warned that the virus can live for up to several days on surfaces. Though the outer limit of this guidance has generally been that the virus can live on surfaces for up to three days, a recent report indicates that coronavirus survived for over two weeks on surfaces aboard a cruise ship.
CNBC.com reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that COVID-19 remained infectious for up to 17 days aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship. The virus “was identified on a variety of surfaces in cabins of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infected passengers up to 17 days after cabins were vacated on the Diamond Princess but before disinfection procedures had been conducted,” the report said.
It is important to note that the study does not conclude that coronavirus spreads readily from surfaces in comparison to person-to-person contact.
In February, authorities detained the Diamond Princess off the coast of Japan and quarantined its 3,700 passengers and 1,000 crew members aboard the ship for two weeks. 712 of the passengers caught the virus and nine people died.
Meanwhile, Australian residents are criticizing their government's handling of a recent Ruby Princess cruise ship voyage which reportedly disembarked sick passengers without taking any precautions to keep them out of the general population.