Coronavirus May Survive Longer In Air Con Rooms, NCID Expert Advises S’poreans To Open Their Windows

Coronavirus Can Only Survive 1-3 Hours In Hot & Humid Environment, But Longer In Air Con Rooms

Just last week, we reported that the spread of the novel coronavirus is expected to slow down in the months to come with the arrival of warmer and more humid weather.

While we are still some time away from the hotter months – especially in China – there’s something almost every Singaporeans can do to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

On Monday (10 Feb), a medical expert advised Singaporeans to “turn off their air con” and go au naturel as the virus favours cool and dry conditions.


Coronavirus thrive in air con rooms, claims medical expert

During a media conference yesterday (10 Feb), David Lye, a director at the National Centre for Infectious Disease (NCID), claims that the coronavirus survives for a shorter period of time in hot and humid environments.

The “hot and humid” environment refers to conditions above 30°C and humidity levels of above 80%.

Under these circumstances, the virus can allegedly survive for 1-3 hours, outside humans beings.

On Tuesday (11 Feb) Singapore temperatures range between 23°C to 32°C, with humidity levels ranging from 60% to 95%. Hence, these conditions can easily be met, especially in the daytime.


Conversely, dry and cold conditions, like the air con room you might be in right now, are where the virus thrives.

For illustration purposes only

Hence, Prof Lye advises Singaporeans to ditch the air con for now, and instead enjoy the natural wind. Here’s his exact quote:

Perhaps now is the time to turn off your air con and just enjoy the breeze and the sun. In an open space, you really won’t catch it from a passing person.

Another medical expert on the panel agreed, adding that it’s a “good idea” to go outdoors now, as the virus is less likely to linger on outdoor surfaces.

No evidence to suggest pets are susceptible to coronavirus

Earlier last month, a doctor in China claims that pets could spread the virus, and advised owners to quarantine them if needed.

Chinese epidemiologist Li Lanjuan comments on 2019-nCoV. (Youtube screenshot) Source

Since then, there have been reports of pet-owners throwing their dogs and cats down from their high-rise flats.

Medical experts during the press conference also debunked these rumours,

there is no evidence now to confirm that cats or dogs are susceptible.

Prof Wang, a director at Duke-NUS claims that all living things are susceptible to viruses. Hence, having a dog wandering around the house is equally likely to spread the virus as a kid.

For illustration purposes only

Even if cats and dogs are found to be susceptible to the coronavirus, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are responsible for transmitting it to humans.

Turn off the air con & head out

Given what the medical experts have to say, perhaps it’s a better idea to turn off the air con and enjoy the natural breeze instead.

While it might take a while to get used to it, the warmer conditions might be less ideal for the virus to survive, and could help to curb the spread.

Most importantly, remember to upkeep good hygiene by washing your hands often with soap, and visit a doctor ASAP should you feel unwell.

Featured image adapted from Hindiroot

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