How many cases of coronavirus been caused by touching contaminated surfaces?

The World Health Organization has warned about surfaces being a source of transmission, while conceding there are no reports demonstrating infection in this way. It said: “Despite consistent evidence as to Sars-CoV-2 contamination of surfaces and the survival of the virus on certain surfaces, there are no specific reports which have directly demonstrated fomite transmission. People who come into contact with potentially infectious surfaces often also have close contact with the infectious person, making the distinction between respiratory droplet and fomite transmission difficult to discern.” Some suggest that surface transmission has been overplayed as a cause of infection at the expense of warning about airborne transmission.

However, as the WHO says, it is difficult to isolate the risk that surface transmission poses. At any rate, washing deliveries is deemed unnecessary by the Food Standards Agency, which says Covid “is not known to be transmitted by exposure to food or food packaging” and says the risk is “very low”. It says staff handling food in shops and other food businesses are required to take precautions and emphasises the importance for consumers to do so too, by regularly washing hands with soap and water.


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