Association between climatic and non-climatic parameters and transmission of SARS‐CoV‐2 infection in Nepal

Sarmila Tandukar, Dinesh Bhandari, Rajani Ghaju Shrestha, Samendra P. Sherchan, Anil Aryal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Preliminary evidence suggests that environmental factors may modify the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Although the role of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) on the reduction of SARS-CoV-2 transmission rate is well explored, the role of local climate across different geographical transects on the onset and transmission of SARS-CoV-two remains unclear. Aims and Objectives: In this study, we explored the potential association among climatic factors, non-climatic factors and COVID-19 burden, via Pearson correlation analysis. We also investigated the association between COVID-19 cases and cumulative effect of NPIs or behavioral changes during lockdown as non-climatic factors in our analysis. Setting and Design: The research was carried out in the COVID-19 impacted districts across Nepal. Material and Methods: The meteorological/climatic factors consisting of temperature and rainfall as predictor variables and total laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases reported between January and May 2020 were considered in the study. Statistical Analysis Used: The statistical tests were carried out using R programming language. Results: Of the total 375 confirmed positive cases until May 19, 2020, clusters of the cases were diagnosed from the Terai region, which was associated with comparatively higher temperature and open border to India. Upon time series and spatial analysis, the number of positive cases increased after the end of April, possibly due to expansion of diagnostic tests throughout the country. We found a positive correlation betweenCOVID-19, and temperature indices (mean and minimum) (P < 0.05). Conclusions: In the absence of an effective vaccine, these findings can inform infection control division of Nepal on the implementation of effective NPIs based on the observed variability in meteorological factors, especially in prevention of possible second wave of infection during winter.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-44
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Disease
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes

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