Jose-Jacobo Zubcoff, Jorge Olcina, Jose-Norberto Mazón (University of Alicante), Javier Morales and Asunción M. Mayoral (Operations Research Center, University Miguel Hernández of Elche)
Abstract: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and the spread of the COVID-19 disease led to a lockdown being imposed in Spain to minimise contagion from 16 March 2020 to 1 May 2020. Over this period, measures were taken to reduce population mobility (a key factor in disease transmission). The scenario thus created enabled us to examine the impact of factors other than mobility (in this case, meteorological conditions) on the incidence of the disease, and thus to identify which environmental variables played the biggest role in the pandemic’s evolution. Worthy of note, the data required to perform the study was entirely extracted from governmental open data sources. The present work therefore demonstrates the utility of such data to conduct scientific research of interest to society, leading to studies that are also fully reproducible. The results revealed a relationship between temperatures and the spread of COVID-19. The trend was that of a slightly lower disease incidence as the minimum temperature rises, i.e. the lower the minimum temperature, the greater the number of cases. Furthermore, a link was found between the incidence of the disease and other variables, such as altitude and proximity to the sea. There were no indications, however, in the study’s data, of a relationship between incidence and precipitation or wind.