Preliminary results from a study by the US Department of Homeland Security has shown that Sunlight kills Coronavirus. Lab experiments showed that the coronavirus does not survive long in high temperatures and high humidity, and is quickly destroyed by sunlight, providing evidence from controlled tests.
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A briefing on the preliminary results of an unpublished research by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), obtained by Yahoo News, discovered that sunlight coupled with high relative humidity, of over 40%, can potentially prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The study found that the risk of “transmission from surfaces outdoors is lower during daylight” and under higher temperature and humidity conditions. “Sunlight destroys the virus quickly,” reads the briefing.
The DHS has a science and technology directorate which carried out a scientific experiment at the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC) lab.
The experiment was carried out in a controlled environment. A droplet of saliva from a cough or sneeze was kept under observations under varying conditions related to temperature, humidity and sunlight. Tests ultimately revealed how viruses in the saliva reacted to changes in ambient weather conditions.
The results showed:
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- Virus lives longer at low humidity and inactivates faster at higher humidity
- Virus lives longer at low temperatures and inactivates faster as temperature increases
- Sunlight destroys the virus quickly
The study also pointed out Operational Relevance of the results as stated below:
- Risk of transmission from surfaces outdoors is lower during daylight
- Higher temperature and humidity of indoor environments will reduce the viral contamination on surfaces faster
- Surfaces in low humidity environments (e.g., airplane cabins) may require additional care to minimize risk of transmission
Harvey Fineberg, head of the National Academies Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats, conveyed in a letter to the White House on April 7th that the DHS plans to conduct more laboratory tests to confirm the validity of the findings.
The study corroborates the findings of Dr. Cameron Kyle-Sidell treating COVID-19 patients in New York City’s Maimonides Medical Center who claimed that COVID-19 patients need Oxygen therapy not Ventilator.
Additionally, a non-peer reviewed paper in March, 2020, by MIT scientists Qasim Bukhari and Yusuf Jameel, observed that the virus was spreading more slowly in countries with a warmer climate.
The results of the study also raises a question to the total lockdown approach in tackling COVID-19 which is now being challenged by experts worldwide. Infact, results of a study conducted by the Chairman of the Israeli Space Agency himself concluded that COVID-19 infections subsided in 70 days irrespective of whether the country went into lockdown or remained open.
The sheer abundance and scale of the power of the Sun could prove to be the winner among alternative curative methods particularly for a country like India, which largely has a hot climate and higher humidity of the monsoon follows the summer season.
For latest updates on the outbreak check out our Coronavirus Coverage.
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