19 May, 2020
8 Min Read
How far can weather impact Covid reproduction number?
A new study by Harvard University has estimated the impact of weather on transmission of Covid-19 infections and found a negative relationship between temperatures above 25°C and estimated reproduction number, with each degree Celsius associated with a 3.1% reduction in the reproduction number.
The study found that higher levels of relative humidity strengthen the negative effect of temperature above 25°C.
But the findings suggest that weather alone will not be enough to fully contain transmission, even though it may help with efforts to contain the pandemic and build response capacity.
The study, entitled ‘Weather Conditions and COVID-19 Transmission: Estimates and Projections’.
It found that would need a reduction of reproduction number by more than 70% to contain the risk of transmission, while that reduction factor rarely goes below 50% globally.
In the case of Delhi, the reduction in reproduction number due to weather is projected to vary between 47% and 16% till August; for Mumbai, between 43% and 23%; for Ahmedabad, between 43% and 26%; for Indore, between 36% and 8%.
Reproduction number is the average number of individuals infected by each infectious person. At the start of an epidemic when everyone in a population is considered susceptible, epidemiologists estimate the ‘basic reproduction number’, or R0.
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