New Delhi: The deadly coronavirus that entered India while there was still nip in the air has beaten rising mercury, humid conditions, unique Indian genome and has entered monsoon season with more potency as fresh cases are only breaking all records in the country. Top Indian microbiologists were hopeful in March after the 21-day lockdown, as summer approaches, the rise in temperature would play a vital role in preventing the drastic spread of Covid-19 virus in India.
Several virologists hinted by June this year, the impact of Covid-19 would be less than what it appeared in March-April. The claims have fallen flat as the virus is mutating fast, becoming more potent than ever.
According to experts, the novel coronavirus is a new virus whose seasonality and response to hot humid weather was never fully understood. “The theory was based on the fact that high temperatures can kill the virus as in sterilisation techniques used in healthcare. But these are controlled environment conditions. There are many other factors besides temperature, humidity which influence the transmission rate among humans,” Dr Anu Gupta, Head, Microbiologist and Infection Control, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, told IANS. There is no built-up immunity to Covid-19 in humans. “Asymptomatic people might be passing it to many others unknowingly. New viruses tend not to follow the seasonal trend in their first year,” Gupta stressed.
According to Sandeep Nayar, Senior Consultant and HOD, Respiratory Medicine, Allergy & Sleep Disorders, BLK Super Speciality Hospital in Delhi, if temperature plays a role in Covid-19 infection is highly debated.
One school of thought said in the tropical regions of South Asia, the virus might not thrive longer. “On the other hand, another school of thought has found novel Coronavirus can survive in a hot and humid environment and tropical climate does not make a difference to the virus. According to them, this is what distinguishes the novel coronavirus from other common viruses, which usually wane in hot weather,” stressed Nayar.