The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) which caused about 80,000 Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) incidences during its first wave in Nigeria is an enveloped virus, with infective properties that make it susceptible to inactivation, upon exposure to harsh conditions, including temperature. Moreover, temperature has been reported to influence the spread and viability of most known human coronaviruses. The aim of this study is to examine the impact of temperature variables on the transmission of COVID-19 in Nigeria during its first wave in the country.
Daily COVID-19 incidences for 300 days of the virus presence in Nigeria were obtained from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, and used in the estimation of the instantaneous reproduction number (R). In this study, R was used to determine COVID-19 transmissibility, while the daily incidences reflected the spread rate of the virus in Nigeria. Meteorological data from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, and World Bank Climate Projection Data, were matched with each of R and COVID-19 incidences, to determine the correlation between them, using Spearman’s correlation coefficient (rs) test.
R estimation of 1.4 reflects the prevailing transmissibility of COVID-19 in Nigeria. No significant and positive relationship was observed between COVID-19 incidences and temperature variables. However, Minimum temperature (℃) showed strongest association with R (rs = 0.9273; p = 0.001).
The strong relationship observed between R and minimum temperature, suggests that temperature could be a driver modulating the transmission routes of COVID-19 in Nigeria.