World Meteorological Organisation says meteorological and air quality factors should not be used as a basis for governments to relax COVID-19 measures

The World Meteorological Agency gas meteorological and air quality factors should not be used as a basis of reason for governments across the world to relax COVID-19 measures. A World Meteorological Organization Task Team has issued its first report on Meteorological and Air Quality factors affecting the COVID-19 pandemic. It cautions that weather and climate conditions, including the onset of higher temperatures in the northern hemisphere spring, should not be used as a trigger to relax measures to halt the spread of the virus. COVID-19 transmission dynamics in 2020 and early 2021 appear to have been influenced primarily by government interventions such as mask mandates and travel restrictions rather than meteorological factors, according to the 16-member panel of experts in earth and medical sciences and public health. Other relevant drivers include changes in human behavior and demographics of affected populations, and more recently, virus mutations. 

“At this stage, evidence does not support the use of meteorological and air quality factors as a basis for governments to relax their interventions aimed at reducing transmission,” said Task Team Co-chair, Dr Ben Zaitchik, Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA. “We saw waves of infection rise in warm seasons and warm regions in the first year of the pandemic, and there is no evidence that this couldn’t happen again in the coming year.” 

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