The coronavirus is spreading like wildfire in India. While the doctors are trying to do their best to develop a vaccine and provide the best cure possible, the onus of not getting into the virus’s contact depends a lot on us. 

As social distancing and washing hands for 20 seconds are some of the basic preventive measures prescribed by researchers and doctors, what we also need to do is make sure our phones are clean.

With work from home and social interaction apps like House party and Zoom, the usage of phones has almost doubled up which might risk us to be infected by the virus even more. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers your phone a “high-touch surface,” which could make it a carrier of the virus. During SARS and MERS coronaviruses stayed on glass screens for up to 3 days. Research has shown that the Covid-19 coronavirus is stable up to 72 hours on stainless steel and plastic, which are used to make a phone’s shell.

A 2017 study published in the journal Germs found that a few hosts of bacteria, viruses and pathogens on almost 27 phones owned by various people. The scientists wrote that they “hypothesize that this may play a role in the spread of infectious agents in the community.” Dr. Amy Edwards, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at University Hospitals in an interview advised cleaning our phones as regularly as possible. It should be as regular as cleaning it at least once a day. It’s believed that our phones are like a third hand because we’re constantly touching it. We all take our phones out to eat, on the train, and to the bathroom. As per the Seattle Times, an average phone is covered in 25,127 bacteria per square inch. As a result, cell phones carry more than 17,000 bacterial gene copies each.

How can you clean it? 

It’s pretty obvious that we need to avoid any sort of liquid, may it be soap or sanitizer. Except that, Apple also recommends people to avoid using spray cleaners or heavy-duty products as any sort of moisture can interfere with the functioning of the phone. There are various other options that we can opt for in order to keep our phones disinfected. There are certain cleansing wipes that are particularly made for electronic devices. There are a few lens-and screen-cleaning wipes available online.

A microfibre might be an effective tool as well. Health professionals suggest that microfiber has the ability to pick up bacteria and a damp microfiber cloth can remove microorganisms including viruses and bacteria as compared to a cotton rag. A microfibre might be a better option as it won’t damage your phone like a Lysol wipe.