With 31 people now having tested positive in India for Coronavirus, top health officials on Friday emphasised that the present weather in Delhi and NCR is conducive for the spread of the deadly virus. This statement comes after a few doctors claimed that weather has no or little role to play in the new coronavirus (COVID-19) spread in India especially in the northern parts of the country.
According to the latest reports, 53 new deaths in China due to coronavirus infections have been confirmed, taking the total death toll to over 3,000. While most of the cases are from Hubei province of China and the city of Wuhan (the epicentre of the outbreak), other countries including Iran, Italy, Japan and the Philippines have also reported deaths related to novel coronavirus.
Dr. Rajesh Chawla, Senior Consultant, Respiratory and Critical Care, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in New Delhi, while speaking to a news daily stated that the environment plays an important role in determining the survivability and spreadability of the virus and coronavirus tends to grow more in low temperature and humidity. He added that two things that are not favorable for this virus are sunlight and temperature above 26-27 degree Celsius. Thus, the threat in southern India is lesser than north India or northeastern parts of the country, he stressed.
According to Dr Balram Bhargava, Secretary and Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the arrival of summer will help control the COVID-19 spread. He said that the virus does not survive for long when the temperature is 30 degree Celsius and humidity is less than 80 per cent. Furthermore, Dr. Bhargava mentioned that COVID-19 is yet to be studied in detail, but the virus might be better controlled as summer begins.
Another person has tested positive for Coronavirus, taking the total confirmed cases in India to 31 as of March 6. The latest case has been confirmed in New Delhi. The patient had a travel history of Thailand and Malaysia and resides in Uttam Nagar in the national capital. The update was provided by the Health Ministry on Friday morning.
The Health Ministry has also advised the citizens from across the country to avoid mass gatherings. In a notification issued on Friday morning, the Ministry stated that all mass gatherings may be "avoided or postponed till the disease spread is contained." The notification further stated that if mass gatherings are organized, states will have to take "necessary action to guide the organizers on precautions to be taken as per the risk communication material already sent so as to avoid any Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) cases and Influenza-Like Illness (ILIs) including Covid-19.