The potential reasons why COVID-19 is not spreading rapidly in Sub-Saharan Africa include sociopolitical, biological and environmental variables. Among the latter, some studies indicate temperature and atmospheric pressure as significantly influential. Could they have impact on the number of COVID-19 cases in Mozambique? The aim of this study is to analyze the relationships between weather and the frequency of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Mozambique, Southern Africa. The study was conducted in Mozambique, Maputo area (Province and City) and Nampula Province. Daily history of weather variables – daily maximum and minimum temperatures and atmospheric pressure – was obtained from three online databases (AccuWeather, Time and Date AS and WeatherSpark) and the number of COVID-19 cases from official Government’s daily Bulletins. The main statistical analyses were Pearson correlations between the variables. The first case was observed in the Maputo area on 22 March, 2020 and the cases in Mozambique increased exponentially up to 769 by 24 June, 2020. The first three cases in Nampula province were observed on 24 May 2020 but its frequency surpassed Maputo area’s within one month. Temperatures showed negative correlations with the number of cases in all areas and pressure showed positive correlations in Maputo area and Nampula Province. A bubble chart allowed the visualization of the combined relationship of both weather variables and the number of cases, suggesting that the number of cases increases as temperature decreases and pressure increases. Temperature and atmospheric pressure seems to be correlated with the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mozambique. Thus, decision-makers should consider weather as a predictor of the rate at which the pandemic is spreading in the country.
Key words: COVID-19, Mozambique, Maputo, Nampula, weather, temperature, atmospheric pressure.
COVID-19, Coronavirus disease of 2019; INS, Instituto Nacional de Saúde (National Institute of Health); MADIS, Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System; NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration; SARS-CoV-2, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2; SPSS, Statistical Product and Service Solutions; USA, United State of America; WHO, World Health Organization; WMO, World Meteorological Organization.
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