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Studies suggest the coronavirus ‘belt’ is found around the 40th line of latitude north

Studies suggest that ‘hotspots’ for virus that causes Covid-19 are found between the 30 to 50 degree lines of latitude north.

The coronavirus pandemic that has infected more than 125,000 people around the world is concentrated in a “corridor” across the northern hemisphere, researchers said, as more studies focused on how temperature and humidity could be used to predict the spread of the contagion.

Despite worries that Southeast Asia may become a coronavirus hotspot after central China (where the Covid-19 outbreak started) because of their proximity and travel connections to the infection’s epicentre, more countries and regions like South Korea, Japan, Iran, northern Italy and the northwestern United States may have to bear the heaviest burden.

“The establishment of community transmission has occurred in a consistent east-and-west pattern. The new [regional] epicentres of the virus were all roughly along the 30-50 degree [lines of latitude] north zone,” according to a team of US and Iranian researchers.

Their work, made public this week on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) and pending review by peer experts.


The US-Iranian researchers, led by Mohammad Sajadi of University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, said there was a “striking similarity” between conditions in locations inside the current outbreak corridor, with average temperatures in the 5 to 11 degree Celsius range and relative humidity of between 47 and 79 per cent.

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