Understanding how COVID-19 infections evolve spatially as well as over time can help countries more effectively confront the ongoing pandemic. Air pollution is a key mediator: people living in areas with higher levels of air pollution face a greater risk of infection and of suffering more severe infection. Two factors are at play: (1) preexisting pulmonary illnesses may increase susceptibility to COVID-19 infection; and (2) higher concentrations of fine particulate matter may increase exposure to the coronavirus.
In the first presentation of this seminar, David Wheeler will provide insights from ongoing work to construct an econometric model of COVID-19 spread that includes air pollution effects. Then, Bo Pieter Johannes Andrée will outline scientific understanding and unanswered questions regarding the connections between air pollution and COVID-19. Finally, Anna Hansell will discuss empirical evidence from recent studies of the connection between air pollution exposure and COVID-19 risks.
Chief Economist, Sustainable Development Practice Group, World Bank
Bo Pieter Johannes Andrée