The Ministry of Science and Technology has placed copper sheets on the elevator buttons and door knobs at its building to boost disease prevention after a study showed that the new coronavirus has a shorter life span on copper surfaces.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week compared the surface stability of the SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — and SARS-CoV-1 in aerosols, plastic, stainless steel, copper and cardboard surfaces.
SARS-CoV-2 remains viable for up to three hours in aerosols, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel, it said.
Photo: Lin Chia-nan, Taipei Times
The study was coauthored by researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, the US National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Princeton University.
The study is available at www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2004973.
Citing the article, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Shieh Dar-bin (謝達斌) on Friday last week instructed the secretariat to cover most frequently touched surfaces at the ministry building with copper sheets, a ministry official said.
As of yesterday, the elevator buttons and most door knobs at the building had been covered by small copper sheets, an innovative measure rarely seen at other agencies, the official said.
The ministry on Tuesday also installed an infrared thermometer at its entrance to take people’s temperature when they enter the building, the official said.
The building’s air-conditioning systems also operate discretely, meaning the air in different floors do not mix, the official added.
Nearly 1,300 people visit the ministry’s offices near the Technology Building MRT Station in Taipei, including employees and guests, the official said.
The ministry on Tuesday last week banned its personnel, including those at the National Applied Research Laboratories, from traveling abroad, unless they have obtained special permission.
TOO TIRED: Investigators found that the pilot’s lack of alertness could be attributed to a lack of sleep the previous night, when he had slept with his child It was a copilot’s inappropriate operation of the aircraft and the pilot’s insufficient alertness that led to a hard landing of a China Airlines cargo flight on Dec. 13, 2018, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. Flight CI6844, a Boeing 747-409 which departed from Hong Kong International Airport, landed on the pre-threshold area of runway L5 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about 21m before the head of the runway, an investigation report said. The hard landing damaged three runway lights, but none of the personnel on board sustained any injuries, the report said. When approaching the runway, the copilot failed to maintain
DISTRUST WARRANTED? The WHO is under China’s control and has become a useless organization, while data from China cannot be trusted, a Control Yuan member said China’s demand that the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, not be referred to with names like the “Wuhan pneumonia” betrays its lack of confidence in itself, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told lawmakers yesterday. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) asked Su, during a interpellation at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, for his view on China’s attempts to redeem its national image in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These included China’s efforts to “bleach” its image, including having WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus publicly praise its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, and thanking it for buying time
REPEAT OFFENDER: The man went outside for exercise on Wednesday and then left his home on Saturday with his girlfriend, officials said A New Taipei City man has been fined NT$400,000 (US$13,221) and ordered into government quarantine after breaking home quarantine for a second time on Saturday. The 25-year-old man, surnamed Chen (陳) returned to Taiwan on Sunday last week and was ordered to home quarantine until Sunday. He was seen leaving his home on a scooter with his girlfriend on Saturday, three days after he was fined NT$200,000 for going outside to exercise, police said. Chen has now been placed in a quarantine center arranged by the district office and health center of the district where he lives, police said. Police warned the public
Taipei residents who stay at hotels in the city during their 14-day mandatory quarantine period are eligible to apply for the city’s NT$7,000 subsidy, with online applications to be launched next week. Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) on Monday said Taipei residents who have COVID-19 Health Declaration and Home Quarantine Notice dated after March 19 and a quarantine hotel receipt for the dates covered by the quarantine period, would be eligible for the subsidy. The Taipei City Government on Sunday told the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) that so many city residents are under home quarantine that about 90 percent of