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Tue 19 May 2020 10:56 AM

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Mobile phones pose huge risk of Covid-19 spread: Dubai Police

Major Dr Rashid Al Ghafri said phones should be disinfected as much as washing hands

Mobile phones pose huge risk of Covid-19 spread: Dubai Police

Al Ghafri suggested disinfecting phones as much as individuals would wash their hands.

A Dubai Police official has warned that mobile phones could pose a huge risk of coronavirus infection.

Major Dr Rashid Al Ghafri, director of training and development at the general department of forensic sciences and criminology at Dubai Police, is quoted by Khaleej Times calling on members of the public to disinfect their phones to mitigate the risk of catching Covid-19.

Al Ghafri was part of a research project between Dubai Police and Bonn and Murdoch University in Australia which discovered that microphones could transmit microbes, including coronavirus.

He said: “We took 24 mobile phones as samples and our research found infectious pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses like Covid-19, on them. And when you touch the phone and touch your face again with the same hands, you are at risk of getting infected.

"There are some studies that say virus cannot stay on the surface for too long. But our studies showed that microbes can stay for hours and reproduce on mobile phones.”

With the popularity of mobile phones in today’s society, Al Ghafri went on to describe the technology as the ‘Trojan Horse’ in the spread of the virus.

He added: "If we look at how often we use mobile phones, and how community members and health care workers carry mobile phones with them all the time, we have to suspect that mobile phones could be the main culprit for community spread of coronavirus."

Al Ghafri suggested disinfecting phones as much as individuals would wash their hands.

“If you touch your phone and touch your nose or face again, that will lead to secondary contamination," he said.

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