While there have been many speculations about heat affecting the impact of the novel Coronavirus or destroying the virus, there are trials going and experts across countries are searching for a relation between temperature and COVID-19.
COVID-19 pandemic: Mixed views on whether summer heat can minimize COVID-19 infection! While there have been many speculations about heat affecting the impact of the novel Coronavirus or destroying the virus, there are trials going and experts across countries are searching for a relation between temperature and COVID-19. With the temperature increasing in the coming few weeks, it is yet to see what it will mean for Coronavirus survival. The World Health Organisation (WHO) in its myth busters have stated that exposure to a temperature higher than 25C degrees does not necessarily mean that Coronavirus can be prevented. It has said that there has been evidence that the deadly virus can be transmitted in almost all areas inclusive of hot and humid weather. Even Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has pointed out that the virus outbreak has no relation with temperature, PTI had earlier reported.
While these statements have been made by WHO and ICMR, AIIMS Director have a slightly different opinion. According to a report by the IE, if the temperature is beyond 40C degree, COVID-19 may not be able to survive outside conditions. However, one must understand that outbreaks have been prevalent in tropical areas and during summers, people stay indoors with air conditioning, the report said.
According to a study conducted by University of Maryland School of Medicine, it was found that the coronavirus can spread in hot and humid climates, however, the impact and the outbreak of Coronavirus is expected to be on a lower end. The study also indicated that the outbreak can increase gradually with decrease in temperature. Meanwhile, a study conducted by MIT suggests that countries with warmer climates like Malaysia and Singapore had a lower growth rate compared to places with different climates like in New York, South Korea, Iran and Italy. The climate in these countries resemble that of Hubei in Wuhan, which is an epicentre for Coronavirus pandemic.
However, the MIT report also mentioned that apart from the climate, there are other factors too that needs to be taken into consideration like the migration rate between China and US, Europe is higher than that of Singapore. Or the transmission rate could be lower because of extreme measures taken by the government in tropical countries, the report highlighted. Notably, many experts still believe that clarification/ evidence on the impact of temperature is yet to be studied extensively as the samples in tropical countries are relatively low.