Coronavirus can survive on hard surfaces such as phone screens for up to a week and offers a potential route of infection, scientists warn.
The hardy virus spreads via droplets released in coughs and sneezes and the residue can remain potent for seven days on surfaces such as handles and handsets.
Experts warn phones could be acting as a petri dish cultivating the killer microbe and say alcohol wipes should be used twice a day to disinfect the device.
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Coronavirus can survive on hard surfaces such as phone screens for up to a week and offers a potential route of infection, scientists warn. They suggest disinfecting the screen twice a day (stock photo)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) posted a picture of him washing his hands to his Instagram page today, with the caption: 'I fully understand the public's concerns about the global spread of coronavirus, and it is likely to become more significant in the coming weeks'
The number of UK coronavirus cases jumped to 51 today from 39 last night with confirmed cases across the UK
The global death toll as a result of COVID-19 has now exceeded 3,100 with infections reported in almost 80 countries
Professor William Keevil, from the University of Southampton, told Metro: 'You could be washing your hands, but if you start touching your smartphone screen and then touch your face that is a potential route of infection.'
Boris Johnson today revealed the Government's 'battle plan' for coronavirus outbreak which could see police ignore low-level crime if coronavirus takes hold in the UK.
It also says troops could be deployed on the streets, infected patients who are not suffering from complications could be sent home from hospital, and non-urgent NHS operations could be cancelled to free up space in overwhelmed hospitals.
Today the total amount of infections in the UK reached 51, as global deaths exceeds 3,100.
At a press conference today, Boris Johnson said the government would take all 'necessary and reasonable steps' to curb the impact of coronavirus
Official advice says using disinfectant and regular and thorough hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Pictured, a Sainsbury's in London running out of germ-busting disinfectant, bleach and anti-bacterial wipessonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black read more