عنوان مقاله [English]
In the late February 2020, the first positive cases of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, were confirmed in Iran, and the World Health Organization updated the
status of the global outbreak from epidemic to pandemic in mid-March 2020. The
rapid outbreak of the virus intervened a significant portion of socioeconomic
activities, leaving behind some serious questions on the main factors intensifying the infection and the morality rates. Although the primary impacts of the outbreak have been extensively explored at the global and regional scales since its emergence, the impacts of the environment on the viral spread are still poorly understood. The goal of this paper is to review the most recent scientific findings on the spatiotemporal correlation between the air pollution and the mortality rate due to COVID-19. These researches are based on statistical analysis of the ground and satellite-based recorded data on PM2.5,PM10, and NOx across the United States, China, Italy, and England. The majority of these studies also consider data on population intensity, meteorological variables, migration rate, age, and health service quality to guarantee the validity of the findings by excluding the possible impacts imposed by these stressors. The results suggest that there exists a significant positive correlation between the concentration of the aforementioned air pollutants and the infection and mortality rates due to COVID-19. While long-term exposure to NOx has been associated with hypertension, heart and cardiovascular diseases, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, high concentration of PM2.5 and PM10 pollutants additionally enhances the mortality rate by facilitating the transmit of pathogenic agents through the fine particulate matters in the air. Regarding the drastic air pollution condition during the cold seasons in the most populated cities across Iran, the conclusions of this study can guide policy makers towards an effective planning and management of the COVID-19 crisis in such seasons.