5 coronavirus myths busted
Coronavirus. Photo for illustrative purposes Image Credit: Screengrab

Dubai: Saudi Arabia is currently conducting a study to examine the effect of sunlight, heat and the weather on coronavirus.

The study was announced by Dr. Mohammed Al Abul Al Ali, the Ministry of Health’s spokesperson, during the COVID-19 daily updates press conference on Monday.

During the press conference, a journalist asked whether exposure to sunlight help a coronavirus-infected person overcome the disease. The reporter also asked if heat can help prevent infection in healthy people?”

Dr. Al Ali replied: “To this day, the direct effect of hot weather on the coronavirus and whether it reduces its activity, incubation period and its infection spread is still being studied and there are no definite conclusions yet.”

“Very high temperatures, which can be used in sterilising tools has its benefits. However, a human’s exposure to the sun’s heat can be harmful. Therefore, not every opinion or rumour should be followed, “ he added.

There has been a lot of debate on the effect of high temperatures and hot weather on the coronavirus in the scientific community.

Researchers in France found that the coronavirus could survive exposure to high temperatures for prolonged periods, but that COVID-19 was deactivated when heated at a temperature of 92 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes.

Another study by scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US, demonstrated that COVID-19 data showed a “lower growth rate” in countries with warmer humid climates.

The study says: “Based on the current data on the spread of COVID-19 virus, we hypothesize that the lower number of cases in tropical countries might be due to warm-humid conditions, under which the spread of the virus might be slower as has been observed for other viruses.”

However, the study adds: “Our results in no way suggest that 2019-nCoV would not spread in warm humid regions and effective public health interventions should be implemented across the world to slow down the transmission of coronavirus.”