According to the British newspaper “Daily Mail”, the researchers wrote in their study: “The results indicate that the occurrence of outbreaks twice a year is inevitable because they are directly related to what we call seasonal weather.”
Student Dabouq and Dimitris Drekakis from the University of Nicosia also created a computer model that takes into account differences in weather as well as virus behavior.
This is called the AIR (airborne infection rate) index, and it focuses on the concentration of virus particles under different conditions.
AIR was also applied to virus data from summer 2020 in Paris, New York City and Rio de Janeiro, and was able to predict the second wave of Covid-19 in these cities.
“We suggest that epidemiological models should incorporate climate impacts through the AIR index,” said Drekakis. “Non-drug interventions such as wearing masks and social distancing are effective, but they are not sufficient to eliminate the pathogen.”
Policymakers’ decisions to implement lockdowns should not be based on data about these actions and known traits of the virus, where environmental factors play a role as well.
On his part, Dabouq said: “In epidemics, where comprehensive and effective vaccination is not available, government planning must be long-term by looking at the effects of weather and designing public health and safety guidelines accordingly.”
This can help avoid reactions in terms of strict lockdowns that negatively affect all aspects of life and the global economy, and the study found, that the second wave of infection varies depending on where it is located north or south of the equator.
This is due to the different timing of the seasons in the northern and southern hemispheres, with much difference in the data for Paris and Rio de Janeiro.
Scientists say their model indicates that as temperatures rise and humidity drops, infection numbers will decrease, and previous research from the same team found that even in winds as light as 2 mph saliva can travel 18 feet in just five seconds.