Effects of the spread of COVID-19 on public health of polluted cities: results of the first wave for explaining the dejà vu in the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic and epidemics of future vital agents.Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2021 Apr; 28(15):19147-19154.ES
The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, is generating a high number of deaths worldwide. One of the current questions in the field of environmental science is to explain how air pollution can affect the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on public health. The research here focuses on a case study of Italy. Results suggest that the diffusion of COVID-19 in cities with high levels of air pollution is generating higher numbers of COVID-19 related infected individuals and deaths. In particular, results reveal that the number of infected people was higher in cities with more than 100 days per year exceeding limits set for PM10 or ozone, cities located in hinterland zones (i.e. away from the coast), cities having a low average speed of wind and cities with a lower average temperature. In hinterland cities having a high level of air pollution, coupled with low wind speed, the average number of infected people in April 2020-during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic-is more than tripled compared to cities with low levels of air pollution. In addition, results show that more than 75% of infected individuals and about 81% of deaths of the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic in Italy are in industrialized regions with high levels of air pollution. Although these vital results of the first wave of the COVID-19 from February to August 2020, policymakers have had a low organizational capacity to plan effective policy responses for crisis management to cope with COVID-19 pandemic that is generating recurring waves with again negative effects, déjà vu, on public health and of course economic systems.