At the end of 2019, the first case of coronavirus (COVID-19) was reported in Wuhan, China. A month later, that epidemic turned into a national crisis, with infected individuals diagnosed all over China. In early March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the Wuhan epidemic had turned into a global pandemic. Many European countries had started to experience several cases affected by this coronavirus, which was known to be highly contagious. The WHO launched several recommendations to curb the spread of this virus and called for general confinement establishment in the affected countries. Tunisia quickly took this step on 22 March 2020 and announced immediate general confinement for two weeks, renewable according to the test results. Factories were closed to limit human damage. International flights were halted and the majority of government and private services were halted except minimum and emergency services. Following these successive events, the air quality improved markedly during the confinement period. NASA scientists say the reduction in nitrogen dioxide (NO2
) pollution first appeared near Wuhan, Northern Italy, and France, and they experienced a reduction of nearly 50% of their NO2
emissions during this first confinement period (March–April 2020); NO2
emissions were reduced by almost 30% in China. In Tunisia, NO2
, sulfur dioxide (SO2
) and carbon monoxide (CO) showed a remarkable decrease in the north and the center of Tunisia of more than 40% during this period, mainly linked to the reduction in emissions from road traffic and industries. Additionally, these pollutant gas concentrations were reduced by nearly 50% during the third pandemic wave, during the period of January–April 2021. Consequently, the air quality has improved significantly in Tunisia and around the world.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.