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“Wear a mask, no conclusive research indicating that hot weather decreases Covid transmission”

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Dr Mary Kawonga, a public health specialist from Wits University, said there was no conclusive research indicating that the hot weather decreased the transmission rate of the virus.

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MEDICAL specialists are warning communities not to be fooled into letting their Covid-19 guard down due to hot weather.

Dr Mary Kawonga, a public health specialist from Wits University, said there was no conclusive research indicating that the hot weather decreased the transmission rate of the virus.

She said research had shown mixed results, with research done live based on the virus being subjected to different temperatures and even humidity. This was conducted in a laboratory setting.

As a result, she said it could not be ascertained how the virus would behave in a normal human setting.

Other tests were conducted looking at data on the number of cases, but scarcely on taking into consideration issues such as the temperature.

Kawonga said countries like Brazil, which had hot and humid weather, as well as Australia and India which were also hot, had experienced a resurgence of cases.

“Scientists are really not sure why Africa has not been as hard hit as the rest of the world, but it is too premature for everyone to start thinking that we are now free and clear.

“Other countries went into relaxed mode and allowed people to go out to restaurants, beaches, pubs and other places of leisure, not taking into account the safety requirements. Unfortunately they were hit with a resurgence of the virus even bigger than they initially had.”

Kawonga said that as the virus was so unpredictable and there was no vaccine available, areas such as Gauteng had to be more vigilant.

For those struggling with keeping their masks on, Kawonga urged residents to look for an alternative or different approach. “Wearing masks, social distancing, and practising good hygiene is the new normal … not wearing a mask simply because it’s not comfortable is simply not good enough of a reason.”