Why Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu became the first COVID-19 hotspots in India
New Delhi, Jan 08: A study has said that states with high international migration and districts located close to large water bodies are the first hotspots of COVID-19 in India.
The study conducted by the Indian Institute of Technology, Mandi said that they studied 640 districts across the country from April 1 to December 25 2020 before preparing the report.
"States such as Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh were the hotspots for the COVID-19 pandemic in India. In almost all of these states, international migration is a significant factor. For this reason, the researchers recommend that in future cases of pandemic outbreaks, travel to and from these states should be carefully monitored," the study said.
"It shows water bodies have a strong influence on a region's microclimate in terms of temperature and humidity, contributing significantly to regional climate change. It is commonly referred to as the lake effect," the IIT study also said.
Dr Sarita Azad, Associate Professor, School of Basic Science and co-authored by Neeraj Poonia, research scholar, IIT Mandi led the research.
"There has been a striking similarity in the focal point and route of transmission of different epidemics in India, such as Spanish flu, H1N1, Swine flu and COVID-19. Mostly all the pandemics have started and found their epicenters in the northern, western, and southern parts of India," Dr. Azad said.
"Later, we also found that districts with direct access to large water bodies had a sudden increase in cases during monsoon (as high as 800%) compared to the preceding season. Hence, strict precautionary measures should be imposed in these districts before the beginning of monsoon season during an outbreak," Dr. Sarita Azad further added.