A boy assists an elderly woman with her mask. Picture: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency (ANA)
A boy assists an elderly woman with her mask. Picture: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency (ANA)

Wear a mask there is no conclusive research indicating that hot weather decreased transmission of coronavirus - health specialist

By Goitsemang Tlhabye Time of article published Oct 12, 2020

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Pretoria - 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 be 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.

Statistics from Gauteng indicated that there were 222374 confirmed cases, with 198291 recoveries and 4414 deaths in the province to date.

In Tshwane, there were 49707 cases, with 43104 recoveries.

Areas north of Tshwane, which include Ga-Rankuwa, Mabopane, Soshanguve, Rosslyn and Karenpark are still recording high numbers with up to 1222 cases.

They are followed by areas such as Lyttelton, Waterkloof, Silverton, Centurion and Olievenhoutbosch with 1715 cases in total.

And the area with the most infections - at 1890 - were measured in places such as Eersterust, Mamelodi, Silver Lakes, Garsfontein, Mooikloof and Lynnwood.

Places such as Atteridgeville, Pretoria West, Saulsville, Laudium have done remarkably well with only about 83 cases.

East Lynne, Cullinan and Dewagensdrift have about 368 cases.

Region seven, which accounts for Bronkhorstspruit, Ekangala and Zithobeni are at 258.

And Hammanskraal, Temba, Kameeldrift and Ramotse have 945 positive cases.

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.”

Pretoria News

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