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Fact Check: Will Corona Virus not spread in India due to the heat in summer?

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Summary

There exist scientific hypothesis and speculations, however, there are no studies which prove that coronavirus doesn't spread in hot places.

Many people on social media are speculating if heat will slow down the spread of Coronavirus and some people are also claiming that it might kill the virus. These speculations have seen to emerge after messages were spread on various social media platforms claiming that heat reduces the impact of the deadly and fast-spreading virus.

Many people have tweeted about the possibility of heat slowing down the spread of Coronavirus on social media and some have even added their own claims. 

Even the US President in one of his talks addressed the same. 

A reader had also recently requested a fact-check query which asked if Coronavirus will indeed spread slower in India and whether a Massachusettes study suggests it.

Fact Check

After doing our research we found out that there exists scientific hypothesises and speculations about this, however, there are no studies which prove this relation. The research paper which is titled, ‘Will Coronavirus Pandemic Diminish by Summer?’ was worked on by Qasim Bukhar and Yusuf Jameel from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The study says, “it appears that the spread of 2019-nCoV (COVID-19) might be influenced by environmental factors. Based on the current data on the spread of (COVID-19), we hypothesise that the lower number of cases in tropical countries might be due to warm humid conditions, under which the spread of the virus might be slower as has been observed for other viruses”. However, it has also considered low testing rates in some countries. "It could be argued that it may be due to lower number of testings such as in India, Pakistan, Indonesia and African countries” reads the paper, however, this was countered by a finding which reads, “Nonetheless, several countries between 30N and 30S such as Australia, UAE, Qatar, Singapore, Bahrain, Qatar and Taiwan have performed extensive testing per capita and the number of positive 2019-nCoV cases per capita are lower in these countries compared to several European countries and the US”. It is to be noted that this possible relationship between heat and the spread of the virus is not clear and requires more scientific review. It also highlights the importance of precautionary measures and interventions in hotter countries as well. 

A study based on a similar hypothesis was carried out by a team from Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou. It was based on how the spread of the new coronavirus might be affected by changes in season and temperature. “Temperature could significantly change Covid-19 transmission,” it said. “And there might be a best temperature for viral transmission.” This study also suggests that the virus could be highly sensitive to temperature and that countries with lower temperatures should take strict control measures.

Similarly, few other studies are also being conducted to find the relationship between temperature, humidity and the spread of the virus and many such pre-existing studies await scientific review. Therefore, it is not a confirmed fact that the virus will spread slowly in counties like India or that high temperatures kill the virus but it is a scientific hypothesis undergoing research. 

WHO's clarification

Coronavirus has spread in countries with both hot and humid climates, as well as cold and dry. Till now, there is no study confirming that Covid 19 cannot survive in a hot climate as clarified WHO.

Note: You can reach out to us at support[at]facthunt.co.in if you find any issue with our articles.

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