A dramatic surge in coronavirus infections in Southeast Asia in recent days has increased doubts over a theory that warmer weather could stem the spread of the virus, health experts say.
Relatively low cases of infections in many Southeast Asian countries had been cited as possible evidence that hotter weather was suppressing the virus, giving hope to Europe and the United States as they head into spring.
“The temperature theory doesn’t really hold up given what’s happening right now in much of Southeast Asia,” said Tikki Pangestu, a professor at Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.
“People in Europe hope warm weather will kill the virus. I doubt this will be a reality.”
The coronavirus, which causes a respiratory disease called COVID-19, has infected almost 170,000 and over 6,500 have died.
Places where the virus has been felt most severely, such as Wuhan in central China, northern Italy and parts of the United States, share similar climates and temperatures.
The World Health Organisation said this month that there was no evidence that temperature would play a role in the coronavirus outbreak but it was an avenue worth exploring.
Coronavirus cases in Malta;
9th March – Fourth coronavirus case confirmed in Malta
10th March – Fifth coronavirus case confirmed in Malta
11th March – 7th coronavirus case confirmed
14th March – 19-year old Maltese tests positive for coronavirus
14th March – Watch: 5 news cases; 18 in total
16th March – 9 new cases of coronavirus – 3 local transmissions
If you want to be the first to receive the latest news on the coronavirus in Malta, download the Newsbook APP here.