Document Type : Original Article
1 QualEx Systems Private Limited, Pune, INDIA
2 Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College
Background: The first wave of COVID-19 in India began to decline suddenly in September 2020 and appeared to be nearly over by the end of January 2021. At the time, no models or papers predicted or explained this decline. The authors hypothesized in their previous study that the cases decreased due to increased Relative Humidity during Monsoon and forecasted that another wave would begin with the dry season in February 2021 and would be contained by monsoon humidity. The current study was carried out to put the seasonality hypothesis to the test in 2021-22. The study also included findings about the effectiveness of policy control measures on case decline.
Methods: Humidity cycles in India were studied to determine the most humid periods, which corresponded to changes in daily cases across the country, on a zone-by-zone basis, and in smaller regions. The enforcement date and subsequent case decline (if any) were observed for the effectiveness of policy control measures.
Results: In low humidity periods, there was a clear relationship between relative humidity and case decline and case increase. Policy controls have been found to be effective in reducing and halting case increase, resulting in a subsequent decline.
Conclusion: In India, COVID-19 increases during the dry season around February and decreases during the monsoon season. Policy controls (lockdowns) are an effective way to halt the virus's exponential spread. The findings may be useful in planning local control and prevention activities.
- Public health
- Infectious diseases
- Policy control measures