Whether weather plays a part in the transmissibility of the novel COronaVIrus Disease-19 (COVID-19) is still not established. We tested the hypothesis that meteorological factors (air temperature, relative humidity, air pressure, wind speed and rainfall) are independently associated with transmissibility of COVID-19 quantified using the basic reproduction rate (R0). We used publicly available datasets on daily COVID-19 case counts (total n = 108,308), three-hourly meteorological data and community mobility data over a three-month period. Estimated R0 varied between 1.15-1.28. Mean daily air temperature (inversely) and wind speed (positively) were significantly associated with time dependent R0, but the contribution of countrywide lockdown to variability in R0 was over three times stronger as compared to that of temperature and wind speed combined. Thus, abating temperatures and easing lockdown may concur with increased transmissibility of COVID-19.
Collection : COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 preprints from medRxiv and bioRxiv