Posted: 2021-10-05 19:00:00
COVID-19 has spread rapidly worldwide. The role of fomites in facilitating onward transmission is plausible. This study aimed to determine the presence of viable virus and its persistence on the surfaces of fomites in wards treating COVID-19 patients in Malaysia. This study was conducted in two stages. First, environmental sampling was performed on random days in the intensive care unit (ICU) and general wards. Then, in the second stage, samples were collected serially on alternate days for 7 days in two selected general wards. In Stage 1, a total of 104 samples were collected from the surfaces of highly touched and used areas by patients and healthcare workers. Only three samples were tested positive for SARS-COV-2. In Stage 2, three surface samples were detected positive, but no persistence of the virus was observed. However, none of the SARS-CoV-2 RNA was viable through tissue culture. Overall, the environmental contamination of SARS-CoV-2 was low in this hospital setting. Hospitals' strict infection control and the compliance of patients with wearing masks may have played a role in these findings, suggesting adherence to those measures to reduce occupational exposure of COVID-19 in hospital settings.
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