How weather affects COVID-19 in India
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A new study published in June 2020 aims to understand the impact of daily weather on SARS-CoV-2 spread within India, and its incubation period.

Key Insights:

• Researchers examined five time-frames, the first being on day zero, and then day 7, 10, 12, 14, and 16 days of disease.

• The team analyzed data from 9 cities in India, from which almost 80% of the total cases in India have been reported.

• Weather conditions were collected in terms of Maximum, Minimum and Mean Temperature, Diurnal Range in Temperature, Dew Point Temperature, Average Relative Humidity, Diurnal Range in Relative Humidity and Wind Speed.

• Using correlation techniques and a machine learning platform called a support vector machine (SVM), the researchers found the significant but low-level correlations between the daily weather and daily incidence.

• Most temperature parameters except the diurnal range of temperature are least well correlated on the day of transmission and highest on the 14th day before transmission, with the best correlation being found with the minimum temperature.

• In other words, the scientists say, “Places with higher minimum temperature are more susceptible for COVID-19 transmission in India.”

• Wind speed is also positively correlated, perhaps because the wind carries the viral particles farther.

• About 80% of confirmed cases were recorded within a limited temperature and wind speed range occurring 12-16 days before the case report. These limits are:

~ Temperature maximum - 33.6-41.3° C,
~ Temperature mean - 29.8-36.5° C,
~ Temperature minimum - 24.8-30.4° C,
~ Temperature range - 7.5-15.2° C,
~ Dew point temperature - 18.7-23.6° C,
~ Wind speed - 4.2-5.75 m/s

• This approach has yielded excellent associations, and the use of time lags of up to 14 days shows the incubation period to be 14 days, on average, in India.

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