Effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on criteria air pollutants in the city of Daegu, the epicenter of South Korea's outbreak
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- Effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on criteria air pollutants in the city of Daegu, the epicenter of South Korea's outbreak
- Quang Tran Vuong; Phan Quang Thang; Park, Min-Kyu; Choi, Sung-Deuk
- Issue Date
- SPRINGER HEIDELBERG
- ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLLUTION RESEARCH, v.27, pp.45983 - 45991
- The outbreak of COVID-19 in Daegu, South Korea, early in 2020 has led this metropolitan city to become one of the major hotspots in the world. This study investigates the association of meteorology and the new daily COVID-19 confirmed cases and the effects of the city lockdown on the variation in criteria air pollutants (CAPs) in Daegu. Ambient temperature and relative humidity were negatively correlated to the new daily cases and played an important role in the spread of COVID-19. Wind speed could enhance the virus transmission through the inhalation of aerosols and/or droplets and contact with fomites. The lockdown has directly decreased the concentrations of CAPs. In particular, reductions of 3.75% (PM10), 30.9% (PM2.5), 36.7% (NO2), 43.7% (CO), and 21.3% (SO2) between the period before and during the outbreak were observed over the entire city. An increase in O-3 (71.1%) was affected by natural processes and photochemical formation other than the lockdown effects. The three central districts were the areas most affected by the virus and showed the highest reductions in CAPs (except for O-3) during the outbreak. Apart from the influence of the lockdown, the decreasing trend in CAPs may be a result of the actions taken by the government to mitigate air pollutants nationwide since 2019. The results of this study can be useful for government and medical organizations to understand the behavior of the virus in the atmosphere. Further studies are necessary to explore the detailed influences of the lockdown on the environment and public life.
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