HYDERABAD: Hot and dry climate could play a role in curbing spread of the dreaded novel coronavirus strain Covid-19 in India, say meteorologists.
“When the sun is strong and temperatures are warm – like in April to June — intensity of sunlight and warm weather conditions could suppress the virus. There may be many reasons for decrease in cases of influenza and cold during summer, but the major one is that heat and dry weather can make it harder for respiratory droplets to spread viruses.
Warm temperatures degrade the virus rapidly,” Mahesh Palawat, chief meteorologist of private weather forecaster Skymet told Deccan Chronicle. The forecaster’s assertion is based on studying historic patterns of flu and viruses, such as the 1918 Spanish flu, SARS in 2003 and the US flu.
Mr Palawat said, “It is possible that the intensity of sunshine, longer daylight hours and warmer weather during summer months suppress the virus. India is currently heading into the spring season. Soon, day temperatures in northern plains will also surpass 30 degrees Celsius. Central and south India are already experiencing maximum temperatures in mid-thirties,” he pointed out.
Some experts are of the view that Covid-19 may become less active in the summer, but could return if not controlled during this summer itself. “Generally, the virus cannot survive in temperatures above 34 degrees Celsius, something that is already being witnessed in India. The virus dies whenever it is exposed to such temperatures. Thus the chances of this infection spreading from person-to-person in Telangana during the summer are very low. But people who have already been infected and are carriers of the virus must be kept under observation,” Dr K. Shankar, superintendent, Fever Hospital, told Deccan Chronicle.
Meteorologists say that if higher temperatures can control Covid-19, then India is in a much better position compared to countries in higher latitudes, such as China, Japan and South Korea that witness much lower temperatures....