Meteorological Factors, Governmental Responses and COVID-19: Evidence from Four European countries

Environ Res. 2020 Dec 8:110596. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.110596. Online ahead of print.


With the global lockdown, meteorological factors are highly discussed for COVID-19 transmission. In this study, national-specific and region-specific data sets from Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom were used to explore the effect of temperature, absolute humidity and diurnal temperature range (DTR) on COVID-19 transmission. From February 1st to November 1st, a 7-day COVID-19 case doubling time (Td), meteorological factors with cumulative 14-day-lagged, government response index and other factors were fitted in the distributed lag nonlinear models. The overall relative risk (RR) of the 10th and the 25th percentiles temperature compared to the median were 0.0074 (95% CI: 0.0023, 0.0237) and 0.1220 (95% CI: 0.0667, 0.2232), respectively. The pooled RR of lower (10th, 25th) and extremely high (90th) absolute humidity were 0.3266 (95% CI: 0.1379, 0.7734), 0.6018 (95% CI: 0.4693, 0.7718) and 0.3438 (95% CI: 0.2254, 0.5242), respectively. While the DTR did not have a significant effect on Td. The total cumulative effect of temperature (10th) and absolute humidity (10th, 90th) on Td increased with the change of lag days. Similarly, a decline in temperature and absolute humidity at cumulative 14-day-lagged corresponded to the lower RR on Td in pooled region-specific effects. In summary, the government responses are important factors in alleviating the spread of COVID-19. After controlling that, our results indicate that both the cold and the dry environment also likely facilitate the COVID-19 transmission.

PMID:33307083 | PMC:PMC7724291 | DOI:10.1016/j.envres.2020.110596