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COVID-19 has lower chance of survival in hotter, drier weather, claims IIT-Bombay study

The study evaluated the time a droplet, coughed out by a novel coronavirus patient, takes to dry and mapped it with daily infections in six cities across the world

twitter-logo BusinessToday.In        Last Updated: June 11, 2020  | 18:36 IST
COVID-19 has lower chance of survival in hotter, drier weather, claims IIT-Bombay study
The study was undertaken by Professors Rajneesh Bhardwaj and Amit Agrawal of IIT-Bombay and published in the journal-Physics of Fluids

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Bombay have shown in their study, using a computer model, that a hotter and drier weather can lessen the chances of survival of the novel coronavirus on surfaces.

The study undertaken by them revealed that cities where cough or sneeze droplets took a shorter time to dry out due to higher temperatures and lower humidity, had a lesser spread of the coronavirus infection.

The findings may help governments come up with better sanitisation guidelines for public areas across the world.

Also Read: Warm, humid weather linked to slower spread of coronavirus, says MIT study

The study was undertaken by Professors Rajneesh Bhardwaj and Amit Agrawal of IIT-Bombay and published in the journal-Physics of Fluids. It evaluated the time a droplet, coughed out by a novel coronavirus patient, takes to dry and mapped it with daily infections in six cities across the world.

The study takes prominence as India witnessed a maximum surge in COVID-19 cases during May and continues to do so in June.

The study, however, has not yet been acknowledged by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The government body's Deputy Director Dr. Raman Gangakhedar has refuted the assumption time and again, saying that there is no established correlation yet between temperature and COVID-19 spread.

He added that novel coronavirus cases have instead peaked in the summer of May and the situation is likely to get worse in June.

Also Read: Coronavirus crisis: Hot summer unlikely to slow down virus; infection to be more frequent in winters

According to Dr. Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS, the behaviour of the virus is still unknown and it would be premature to call the said assumption a fact as yet. He added that there is no evidence of coronavirus being airborne and its correlation with temperature.

Meanwhile, the IIT-Bombay professors also cautioned in their study that the approaching monsoon with strong humidity may worsen the situation in the states of Maharashtra and Kerala. According to Prof. Agrawal, "In Mumbai and Kerala, humidity is one of the key factors of fast spread, we could expect things to worsen."

Also Read: COVID-19 death toll may reach 200,000 by Sept, says Indian-American professor

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