Coronavirus may not end in warm weather: US report
New Delhi : India is all set to experience summers in coming days, and there is a belief that coronavirus is a winter disease and may not survive in the hot and humid climate. But, a US report debunks the belief and claims that there are no significant evidences which could validate the claim of coronavirus disappearing in the summers.
The report is from the US National Academies of Sciences (NAS) in its April 4 report claimed that coronavirus can spread by talking and breathing, because of which many countries, including India, have changed their guidelines over wearing masks in public areas.
To support its claim, the US report mentioned that the virus is rapidly spreading in countries like Australia and Iran which have warmer temperatures than China and Europe these days.
Thus, while noting that "experimental studies show a relationship between higher temperatures and humidity levels, and reduced survival of Sars-CoV-2 in the laboratory, there are many other factors besides environmental temperature, humidity, and survival of the virus outside the host, that influence and determine transmission," the report said in its summary.
The new report, which was submitted to the White House on Tuesday, said that on current evidence and given the lack of host immunity globally, any reduction in transmission because of higher temperature and humidity may not lead to a significant decrease in disease spread without major interventions, such as personal protection and social distancing.
"We cannot rely on summer to rescue us from coronavirus disease as temperature is just one of the many factors that affect transmission. Very hot climate may reduce cases by a small number in high population density areas as heat will destroy the virus faster. I’m hopeful it may do so to some extent in Dharavi, but since hot spots are typically in hospitals, malls and offices, which are often air-conditioned even in India, transmission is unlikely to end in summer without strong public health interventions," said Dr Anurag Agrawal, director of the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi.