Weather does affect viruses and their transmission, but data recorded over an year must be studied to assess if heat has any effect on coronavirus, said M Rajeevan, secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences.
Since the outbreak of coronavirus, it has been repeatedly debated whether hot, humid and high temperatures could kill the virus, thereby slowing down the rate of infection.
However, as summer sets in and day temperatures in some places in India cross 40 degrees Celsius, there has not been any direct established link between the virus spread and high temperatures so far.
“Virus will definitely have links with weather, but presently, there is no adequate data to suggest anything concrete. We will need to study year-long data in order to draw conclusions,” said Rajeevan, who was speaking recently on Earth’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
” Along with weather conditions, we must also factor in human behaviour into the study, which is equally important. Since it is a novel virus, we need more information and analyse whether heat has any direct implications on it,” he said.
Referring to the nationwide lockdown, the senior scientist also mentioned that air quality at major Indian cities had improved to great extent.
Globally, researchers and medical practitioners, referring to past instances of flu and viral infections, had banked on the belief that heat could kill viruses.
Last week, William Bryan, acting head of the Science and Technology Directorate at the Department of Homeland Security, US, had stated that sunlight and humidity was found to weaken coronavirus. He also cautioned that the virus in saliva droplets thrived in indoor conditions.
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