Analyzing relationships between air pollutants and Covid-19 cases during lockdowns in Iran using Sentinel-5 data

  • Abdullah Kaviani Rad Department of Soil Science, School of Agriculture, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran
  • Mohsen Shariati Department of Environmental Planning, Management and Education, Factually of Environment, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
  • Armin Naghipour Clinical Research Development Center, Imam Reza Hospital, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran
Keywords: Air pollution; Covid-19; Lockdown; Remote sensing; Sentinel-5


Introduction: Air quality improvement was an unparalleled environmental consequence of the Covid-19 global crisis in many regions. Numerous researches have been conducted on the influence of national quarantines on air pollution and the relationship between the abundance of infected cases and mortality caused by this pandemic with air pollutants; however, these investigations are limited in Iran. The present study aims to investigate the correlation between Covid-19 cases and air pollution from a statistical viewpoint in order to evaluate the performance of multiple national lockdowns from February 2020 to August 2021 through measuring changes in air pollutants in the 31 provinces of Iran.

Materials and methods: We applied a remote sensing method by employing Sentinel-5P satellite data to analyze changes in PM2.5, CO, and O3 during the three public quarantine periods and their two months earlier.

Results: We recognized a considerable positive correlation between PM2.5 and the infected cases (r=0.63, p=0.001) and victims (r=0.41, p=0.001). Moreover, we compared the efficiency of lockdowns and supposed lockdown 2 (November-December 2020) as an only effective quarantine due to a dramatic reduction in PM2.5 (21.2%), CO (0.8%), the infected cases (48.7%), and victims (66.9%) in comparison to the average of its next two months.

Conclusion: Governments should handle the outbreak of Covid-19 by implementing efficient quarantines, as well as environmental conservation strategies.