The coronavirus outbreak, declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), has claimed more than 4,600 lives and infected over 126,000 people around the world. As doctors and medical experts struggle to find a cure for COVID-19, the general public is being advised to take precautions such as limiting social interaction, washing hands, avoid touching the face and maintain good hygiene in order to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

apps on phone
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Smartphones host germs and virus

However, last week, an analysis from the Journal of Hospital Infection revealed that coronaviruses and other germs can live on smartphone surfaces like for days. This means that whatever you touch with your hands, food, dust, or bacteria, can be transferred to your smartphone, essentially making your device a hotbed for germs.

This has led people to start considering sanitizing their phones as the novel coronavirus outbreak continues to wreak havoc around the world, which in turn has caused sales of a device sanitizing and charging machine called the PhoneSoap to grow faster.

PhoneSoap products sold out

PhoneSoap's range of products kill germs on phones by bathing them in UV light while charging your device, have not yet been tested against COVID-10. However, revenues this month alone are about 20 times higher than in the same period last year, co-founder Dan Barnes told CNN.

PhoneSoap
PhoneSoap

The company has already sold out all its phone-sanitizing products. "Due to increased demand, the option to pre-order will be available for some products that are out of stock," the company's website said. "[The coronavirus] isn't something we celebrate, but it has definitely raised awareness that phones or hard surfaces can harbor bacteria for days and that it's important to clean them," Barnes said.

How do PhoneSoap devices work?

PhoneSoap's products are compatible with all smartphones and the cases are equipped with a UV light, essentially like a tanning bed for phones. The device then uses UV rays to sterilize your phone and kill 99.99 percent of household germs, including E. coli and salmonella, within minutes.

PhoneSoap / YouTube

Some of the products are also equipped with a battery pack that allows users to charge their device while it is being cleaned. All you have to do is lock your phone and place it in the chamber and a 10-minute cycle to deep-clean your device will be initiated. An LED indicator on the top notifies you when the cycle is complete, so you can take your phone out knowing that it's completely clean after hours of touching hands, faces, and resting on unknown surfaces.