Summer heat unlikely to halt coronavirus, EU body says

  • Mar 26, 2020
  • Magazine

Brussels | Summer heat is unlikely to stop the spread of the coronavirus, and every country in Europe is forecast to run out of intensive care beds by mid-April unless it acts fast, the European Union's disease control agency said.

The European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) cited research which it said suggests that the virus does not become less dangerous in hot and humid conditions, reducing hope that the northern hemisphere could get a respite when the summer arrives.

"There is no evidence to date that SARS-CoV-2 will display a marked winter seasonality, such as other human coronaviruses in the northern hemisphere," the ECDC said in a report, using the name for the novel virus that causes the COVID-19 disease.

Scientific research indicates the virus can survive up to 3 hours in the air, up to 4 hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to 2–3 days on plastic and stainless steel. AP

The document cited preliminary analyses from the outbreak in China which found the virus was able to maintain high levels of reproduction in tropical places with high humidity, such as Guangxi and Singapore.

That "emphasises the importance of implementing intervention measures such as isolation of infected individuals, workplace distancing, and school closures", the agency said.


TOPICS IN THIS ARTICLE