Prevent coronavirus by cleaning your phone EVERY time you wash your hands – The Sun

DOCTORS are urging people to clean their phones every time they wash their hands – in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Medics say wiping down smartphones will help to eliminate the thousands of germs that live on their surfaces.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

And they are recommending people use alcohol wipes as they contain active ingredients that kill more than 99 per cent of bacteria.

It comes as cases of deadly coronavirus have surged in the UK to 116 – with a woman in her seventies confirmed as the first death from the bug.

Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP and Clinical Director of, told The Sun: "We know that most viruses survive much better on hard surfaces – phones and computer keyboards as well as kitchen surfaces.

"We also know some viruses can survive for several days, and definitely for up to a couple of days.

"Even if nobody else is using your phone, you’re going to be touching it regularly, and if you pick it up after you wash your hands, it may still have traces of virus you put there before you washed your hands!

"So it is definitely worth wiping your phone down as much as you wash your hands.

"Gentle baby wipes are unlikely to get rid of the germs effectively. Instead, use alcohol based wipes."

The average person picks up their phone 2,600 times a day and uses it around 76 times, according to recent research.

And the typical mobile phone is said to be carrying over 25,000 bacteria per square inch.

This is dirtier than a kitchen counter, your dog's bowl or even the common doorknob.

Earlier this week, Britain's top doctor Professor Chris Whitty said droplets of the Covid-19 infection can remain on hard surfaces for up to three days.

However, the Chief Medical Officer said they would be "largely gone" within 48 hours in most cases.

There are currently over 98,000 cases of coronavirus and over 3,000 deaths worldwide.

A Brit woman, 75, became the first patient to die in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus.

What to do if you're worried you've got coronavirus

The new coronavirus is continuing to sweep its way across the globe with Britain seeing more cases in people who aren't linked to outbreaks overseas.

Symptoms of Covid-19 can include:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature
  • difficulty breathing

In most cases, you won't know whether you have a coronavirus or a different cold-causing virus.

But if a coronavirus infection spreads to the lower respiratory tract, it can cause pneumonia, especially in older people, people with heart disease or people with weakened immune systems.

It is incredibly contagious and is spread through contact with anything the virus is on as well as infected breath, coughs or sneezes.

The best way to prevent catching any form of coronavirus is to practice good hygiene.

If you have cold-like symptoms, you can help protect others by staying home when you are sick and avoiding contact with others.

You should also cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze then throw it away and wash your hands.

Cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces which you may have touched is also important.

Meanwhile, leading symptom-checking provider to the NHS Doctorlink has been updated to help identify patients' risk of having coronavirus.

Source: NHS

The Royal Berkshire NHS Trust said the 75-year-old had underlying health conditions.

Health bosses say the best way to protect yourself is to wash your hands with soap and water for the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice.

Happy Birthday takes about 20 seconds to sing twice and is said to be the perfect number to clean your hands to thoroughly.

You should also not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands and avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces which you may have touched is also important.

Dr Daniel Atkinson, clinical lead at, said: "Hygiene is incredibly important to ward off any viruses.

"Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly – for at least 20 seconds – and cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.

"If you can, avoid contact with sick people and avoid shaking hands with anyone displaying flu-like symptoms."

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