The effect of weather on the spread of COVID-19: Evidence from Ghana

Eric N. Aidoo, Atinuke O. Adebanji, Gastone Edem Awashie, Simon K. Appiah

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Background: Climatic factors have been shown to influence communicable disease dynamics especially in tropical regions where temperature could swing from extreme heat and dryness to wet and cold within a short period of time. This is more pronounced in the spread of airborne diseases. In this study, the effect of some local weather variables (average temperature, average relative humidity, average wind speed and average atmospheric pressure) on the risk of Severe Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Ghana is investigated. The daily confirmed new COVID-19 cases were compiled from the Ghana Health Service and the weather data extracted from Weatherbase. The type of relationship between the climatic variable and risk of spread were explored using the Generalized Additive Model (GAM).

Results: Results obtained showed that wind speed and atmospheric pressure have positive linear relationship with the spread of infection an increase in the risk of COVID-19 spread. In addition, the risk of spread fluctuates for temperature between 24 and 29 °C but sharply decreases when average temperature exceeds 29 °C. The risk of spread of COVID-19 significantly decrease for relative humidity between 72 and 76% and leveled afterwards.

Conclusion: The results indicate that wind speed and pressure have a positive linear relationship with the risk of spread of COVID-19 whilst temperature and humidity have a non-linear relationship with the spread of COVID-19. These findings highlight the need for policy makers to design effective countermeasures for controlling the spread as we are still within the low temperature season.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20
JournalBulletin of the National Research Centre
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2021


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