Worldwide, over 4 million cases of the deadly novel coronavirus have been registered. As the numbers are growing, people are hoping that the arrival of summer in the Northern Hemisphere will slow down the spread of COVID-19.
Unfortunately, new research carried out by Canadian scientists has not identified any links between latitude or temperature and the spreading of the novel coronavirus. This is only the preliminary phase of results, but they take away from the credibility of the idea that the pandemic will go away by itself once summer comes.
According to Peter Juni, a researcher affiliated with the University of Toronto, a preliminary study indicated that both of the tested factors – latitude and temperature – play an important role. However, the same study repeated underway more rigorous testing conditions found no correlation between these two factors and the spread of the virus.
The research team collected information from the 144 geopolitical areas, which were either countries or states/territories/provinces in the case of Australia, the US and Canada, that had at least 10 cases of the novel coronavirus. The team then compared the total amount of cases one week later on 27 March.
Countries that had already reached a level of the full outbreak of the disease were exempted from this study. Examples of such countries include Iran, Italy, and China.
The scientists also examined the exposure period to the virus, so 14 days prior. They investigated the latitude, humidity, and temperature, as well as social and physical distancing measures, school closures, and restrictions on mass gatherings.
According to the researchers, there was no link between the epidemic growth of the novel coronavirus and temperature or latitude, but a weak negative association might exist between the spread and absolute or relative humidity. Public health interventions, on the other hand, have been found to associate strongly with the reduced growth of the epidemic.