TAIPEI (CNA) — By coating the doorknobs of its Taipei building with copper foil, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) said it hopes this small step could help minimize the risk of the COVID-19 coronavirus infection.
The ministry said all of its elevator buttons have also been covered with the material and are routinely sanitized.
Experts have previously suggested that the coronavirus can survive on surfaces for extended periods of time, with door handles representing a high risk of contamination.
On March 17, the U.S.-based New England Journal of Medicine published on its website the results of an experiment revealing the various lengths of time the virus can live on a given surface.
In its findings, the virus was found to survive longest on stainless steel and plastic, for up to two to three days, while it can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard, but only four hours on copper surfaces, according to the report.
According to the eminent peer-reviewed journal, the study was carried out to provide information on pandemic mitigation efforts.
In addition to setting up infrared thermometers to screen anyone entering its Taipei building, MOST said it believes it is one of only a few government offices to have started coating their handles and doorknobs with copper foil.