The Coronavirus pandemic COVID-19 has its roots in Wuhan, china. It has taken lives all over the world and scientists are trying to find a cure. The disease is contagious and it could lead to death if people do not take precautions. In order to ensure the safety of the masses, they are advised to remain indoors and work from home as far as possible. As a result, there is little or no traffic on the roads, flights are grounded and industries have shut down. Activities of this nature have translated into more environment-friendly surroundings and are the flip side of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Guardian says the ESA’s Sentinel-5P satellite has been at work for the past six weeks. It has been measuring the levels of nitrogen dioxide NO2 across the world. One of its findings is that the levels of the gas are less today when compared to the same period last year.

The sources of nitrogen dioxide are car engines, power plants, and other industrial processes. The gas has links to respiratory illnesses like asthma. It is not a greenhouse gas as such but contributes to global warming. In the opinion of Professor Paul Monks of the University of Leicester, a reduction in air pollution might result in a few health benefits, but would not be able to compensate for the loss of lives from coronavirus.

Wuhan, where coronavirus originated, sees drop in pollution levels

The city of Wuhan in China is where coronavirus originated. It is known as a major transportation hub that accommodates hundreds of factories. These are involved in producing a wide range of spare parts required by the automobile industry. They also manufacture different types of hardware for international customers. The city has a population of around 11 million and went into a strict lockdown in late January.

NASA says nitrogen dioxide levels across these parts of China are now considerably lower than normal probably due to the suspension of industrial activity. South Korea is another country that has witnessed a drop in pollution from NO2. Most of these emissions were from large coal-fired power plants apart from China-based industries.

The Guardian makes mention of countries in Europe. One of these is Italy that declared lockdown on 9 March, and NO2 levels in Milan and other parts of northern Italy have reduced.

That part of the country is one of the major pollution hotspots in Western Europe. There is a dense cluster of factories in the region. The decline could be the result of the industrial slowdown. A second factor could be a reduction in road traffic because of the lockdown. In UK, roadside monitors recorded lower levels of pollution in hotspots in London.

Coronavirus affects work and travel, air pollution drops

According to The BBC, researchers of Columbia University in New York reveal that initial results indicate a drop in levels of carbon monoxide in the air. Automobiles generate this gas and it has reduced by nearly half, compared with last year.

There is also a reduction in emissions of CO2 responsible for global warming. Cutting down on unnecessary Travel could have made some impact. Coronavirus forced the grounding of international flights and many people began working from home. That led to fewer vehicles on the roads. However, this is a temporary phase because the levels could rise rapidly once the pandemic ends.

Travel and tourism suffered because of coronavirus

Coronavirus is a life-threatening disease. It is contagious with no known cure yet and has devastated the travel industry. The entertainment industry is also in a dilemma because it had to postpone the release of many movies.

Japan had to cancel its favorite cherry blossom festivals due to coronavirus.

The reason is the nature of the disease. Experts suggest social distancing and personal hygiene to prevent it from spreading.

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