Why in news?
- Coronaviruses are sensitive to humidity and are less likely to thrive at moderate levels of humidity, a series of experimental studies over the years have shown.
- It is important to note that these studies didn’t study actual coronaviruses but a bacteriophage Phi6, which is considered a safer surrogate.
- Earlier in March 2020, a study by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States said that regions experiencing a monsoon might see a slowing — but not a stop — to the transmission of the virus and, therefore, could help mitigation strategies in tropical countries such as India.
- However, while warmer and humid countries such as Singapore, Australia, Taiwan and Qatar had comparatively fewer infections — attributable to higher testing — it was possible that warmer temperatures retarded the spread of the virus.