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Open AccessArticle

COVID-19 Infection and Mortality: Association with PM2.5 Concentration and Population Density—An Exploratory Study

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Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
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Research Institute for Sustainable Urban Development, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
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Institute of Space and Earth Information Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
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Department of Geography and Resource Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
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Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Utrecht University, 3584 CB Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Department of Geography, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9RH, UK
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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Yonsei University, Seoul 03722, Korea
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Hong Kong Observatory, Hong Kong, China
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Department of Psychology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Wolfgang Kainz
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2021, 10(3), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi10030123
Received: 25 December 2020 / Revised: 17 February 2021 / Accepted: 24 February 2021 / Published: 1 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geospatial Methods in Social and Behavioral Sciences)
The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has become a public health problem at a global scale because of its high infection and mortality rate. It has affected most countries in the world, and the number of confirmed cases and death toll is still growing rapidly. Susceptibility studies have been conducted in specific countries, where COVID-19 infection and mortality rates were highly related to demographics and air pollution, especially PM2.5, but there are few studies on a global scale. This paper is an exploratory study of the relationship between confirmed COVID-19 cases and death toll per million population, population density, and PM2.5 concentration on a worldwide basis. A multivariate linear regression based on Moran eigenvector spatial filtering model and Geographically weighted regression model were undertaken to analyze the relationship between population density, PM2.5 concentration, and COVID-19 infection and mortality rate, and a geostatistical method with bivariate local spatial association analysis was adopted to explore their spatial correlations. The results show that there is a statistically significant positive relationship between COVID-19 confirmed cases and death toll per million population, population density, and PM2.5 concentration, but the relationship displays obvious spatial heterogeneity. While some adjacent countries are likely to have similar characteristics, it suggests that the countries with close contacts/sharing borders and similar spatial pattern of population density and PM2.5 concentration tend to have similar patterns of COVID-19 risk. The analysis provides an interpretation of the statistical and spatial association of COVID-19 with population density and PM2.5 concentration, which has implications for the control and abatement of COVID-19 in terms of both infection and mortality. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; population density; PM2.5 concentration; bivariate spatial association analysis; geographically weighted regression; multivariate linear regression based on Moran eigenvector spatial filtering model COVID-19; population density; PM2.5 concentration; bivariate spatial association analysis; geographically weighted regression; multivariate linear regression based on Moran eigenvector spatial filtering model
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yu, X.; Wong, M.S.; Kwan, M.P.; Nichol, J.E.; Zhu, R.; Heo, J.; Chan, P.W.; Chin, D.C.W.; Kwok, C.Y.T.; Kan, Z. COVID-19 Infection and Mortality: Association with PM2.5 Concentration and Population Density—An Exploratory Study. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2021, 10, 123. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi10030123

AMA Style

Yu X, Wong MS, Kwan MP, Nichol JE, Zhu R, Heo J, Chan PW, Chin DCW, Kwok CYT, Kan Z. COVID-19 Infection and Mortality: Association with PM2.5 Concentration and Population Density—An Exploratory Study. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. 2021; 10(3):123. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi10030123

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yu, Xinyu; Wong, Man S.; Kwan, Mei P.; Nichol, Janet E.; Zhu, Rui; Heo, Joon; Chan, Pak W.; Chin, David C.W.; Kwok, Coco Y.T.; Kan, Zihan. 2021. "COVID-19 Infection and Mortality: Association with PM2.5 Concentration and Population Density—An Exploratory Study" ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 10, no. 3: 123. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi10030123

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