Is sunlight the remedy?
As the pandemic caused by the coronavirus rages across the world, scientists and researchers are working hard to find a vaccine and a cure. It is in this perspective the news of sunlight being a possible virus-killer has cheered people the world over, but many doubts still persists.
An initial research by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), obtained by Yahoo News, has discovered that sunlight along with high relative humidity, of over 40%, kills SARS-Cov-2, the virus responsible for causing Covid-19.
The Trump angle
The study follows US President Donald Trump’s prediction in February that “during the month of April, the heat, generally speaking, kills this type of virus”, was conducted using simulated sunlight. Findings revealed that it “reduced infectious virus to undetectable levels after just 3 minutes of exposure to the solar equivalent of midday sun on a sunny day”.
Good news for Bangladesh?
The research, if proven true, will come as a blessing in disguise for Bangladesh. Summer time temperatures in the subcontinent usually hover around 40 degree celsius. The study says that the virus suspended in saliva, when subjected to full intensity sunlight at room temperatures, had a half life of 2-3 minutes with the viral load decreasing by 90% within 9-10 minutes while with no sunlight, the virus remained alive and kicking even after 1 hour.
The study also points that using 0.26% hypochlorite (bleach) or 70% isopropyl alcohol also killed the virus in both wet as well as dried saliva on stainless steel. It also found that “outdoor daytime environments are lower risk for transmission” of SARS-Cov-2.
Earlier in 2016 a Georgetown University Medical Center researchers have found that sunlight, through a mechanism separate than vitamin D production, energizes T cells that play a central role in human immunity.
Their findings, published in Scientific Reports, suggest how the skin, the body’s largest organ, stays alert to the many microbes that can nest there.