Bhubaneswar: A recent study has revealed that Asian countries experiencing monsoon may witness lesser transmission of the deadly coronavirus. This is because warm and humid weather is linked to slower spread of the COVID-19. The scientists, including Qasim Bukhari from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US, assessed data on the number of COVID-19 infections in different parts of the world and compared it with two parameters of weather from all the regions – temperature and humidity.
Ninety per cent of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, transmissions until March 22, 2020 have occurred in the regions with temperature between three to 17 degrees Celsius, the findings described in the SSRN repository show. These regions also had absolute humidity of between four to nine grams per cubic metre (g/m3) – a measure of the amount of water vapour per cubic metre of atmosphere, the scientists said.
The total number of cases in countries with mean temperature greater than 18 degree Celsius and absolute humidity of more than nine g/m3 in January-February-early March was less than six per cent, the scientists added.
The scientists also noted, based on their analysis that Asian countries experiencing monsoon may witness a slowdown in transmission, as absolute humidity is generally above 10g /m3 during the monsoons.
“Within the US, the outbreak also shows a north-south divide. Northern (cooler) states have much higher growth rates compared to southern (warmer) states. The pandemic spread of COVID-19 has been limited in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona,” they reported.
Even in California, which spans over a large climatic zone, the number of cases is double in the northern part of the state than the south, the MIT scientists asserted.
PNN & Agencies