Virologist warns of risk of virus on petrol pumps

Virologist warns of risk of virus on petrol pumps

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It’s not known if Dominic Cummings stopped at service stations when he drove from London to Durham, but the BBC has been told the coronavirus could survive on a petrol pump for “quite a few days”.

Dr Joe Grove, a virologist at University College London, says he can’t comment on Dominic Cummings case because levels of infection can vary from person to person, but the virus can survive on hard surfaces made from metal or plastic for several days.

“If there was a virus on someone’s hands, they could leave some behind,” explains Dr Grove.

Dominic Cummings made his journey at the end of March when London was the epicentre of the crisis. Dr Grove says lockdown had been put in place to stop the virus spreading to other parts of the country.

Figures show the North East and Yorkshire currently have the highest rates of infections in England.

Dr Gove says: “We’ve often stressed the importance of people acting for the greater good of the community – which is necessary for the success of lockdown and track and trace. The government needs to lead by example. We need role models.”

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