Factories were shuttered and streets were cleared across China’s Hubei province as authorities ordered residents to stay home to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The drastic measures enforced by China during the coronavirus outbreak have slashed deadly air pollution, potentially saving the lives of tens of thousands of people, a Stanford University researcher said.
The World Health Organization has estimated that around 7 million people die every year from exposure to fine particles in polluted air.
The average number of “good quality air days” increased 21.5% in February, compared to the same period last year, according to China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment.
According to China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the average number of “good quality air days” increased 21.5% in February, compared to the same period last year in Hubei province, the epicenter of the global coronavirus pandemic.
Satellite images released by NASA and the European Space Agency also show a dramatic reduction in nitrogen dioxide emissions — those released by vehicles, power plants and industrial facilities — in major Chinese cities between January and February.