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1.
Tour Manag ; 92: 104533, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1778471

ABSTRACT

This study analyzes a large-scale navigation dataset that captures travel activities of domestic inbound visitors in Jeju, Korea in the first nine months of 2020. A collection of regression models are introduced to quantify the dynamic effects of local and national COVID-19 indicators on their travel behavior. Results suggest that behavior of inbound travelers was jointly affected by pandemic severity locally and remotely. The daily number of new cases in Jeju has a greater impact on reducing travel activities than the national-level daily new cases of COVID-19. The impacts of the pandemic did not diminish over time but produced heterogeneous effects on travels with different trip purposes. Our findings reveal the persistence of COVID-19's effects on travel behavior and the variability in travelers' responses across tourism activities with different levels of perceived health risks. The implications for crisis management and recovery strategies are also discussed.

2.
Annals of the American Association of Geographers ; : 1-17, 2022.
Article in English | Taylor & Francis | ID: covidwho-1774302
4.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(6): e1356-e1364, 2021 09 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1412019

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Nosocomial outbreaks with superspreading of coronavirus disease 2019 due to a possible airborne transmission have not been reported. METHODS: Epidemiological analysis, environmental samplings, and whole-genome sequencing (WGS) were performed for a hospital outbreak. RESULTS: A superspreading event that involved 12 patients and 9 healthcare workers (HCWs) occurred within 9 days in 3 of 6 cubicles at an old-fashioned general ward with no air exhaust built within the cubicles. The environmental contamination by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA was significantly higher in air grilles (>2 m from patients' heads and not within reach) than on high-touch clinical surfaces (36.4%, 8 of 22 vs 3.4%, 1 of 29, P = .003). Six (66.7%) of 9 contaminated air exhaust grilles were located outside patient cubicles. The clinical attack rate of patients was significantly higher than of HCWs (15.4%, 12 of 78 exposed patients vs 4.6%, 9 of 195 exposed HCWs, P = .005). Moreover, the clinical attack rate of ward-based HCWs was significantly higher than of nonward-based HCWs (8.1%, 7 of 68 vs 1.8%, 2 of 109, P = .045). The episodes (mean ±â€…standard deviation) of patient-care duty assignment in the cubicles was significantly higher among infected ward-based HCWs than among noninfected ward-based HCWs (6.0 ±â€…2.4 vs 3.0 ±â€…2.9, P = .012) during the outbreak period. The outbreak strains belong to SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.36.27 (GISAID clade GH) with the unique S-T470N mutation on WGS. CONCLUSIONS: This nosocomial point source superspreading event due to possible airborne transmission demonstrates the need for stringent SARS-CoV-2 screening at admission to healthcare facilities and better architectural design of ventilation systems to prevent such outbreaks. Portable high-efficiency particulate filters were installed in each cubicle to improve ventilation before resumption of clinical service.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross Infection , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Health Personnel , Hospitals , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(14)2021 07 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1314641

ABSTRACT

With the COVID-19 vaccination widely implemented in most countries, propelled by the need to revive the tourism economy, there is a growing prospect for relieving the social distancing regulation and reopening borders in tourism-oriented countries and regions. This need incentivizes stakeholders to develop border control strategies that fully evaluate health risks if mandatory quarantines are lifted. In this study, we have employed a computational approach to investigate the contact tracing integrated policy in different border-reopening scenarios in Hong Kong, China. Explicitly, by reconstructing the COVID-19 transmission from historical data, specific scenarios with joint effects of digital contact tracing and other concurrent measures (i.e., controlling arrival population and community nonpharmacological interventions) are applied to forecast the future development of the pandemic. Built on a modified SEIR epidemic model with a 30% vaccination coverage, the results suggest that scenarios with digital contact tracing and quick isolation intervention can reduce the infectious population by 92.11% compared to those without contact tracing. By further restricting the inbound population with a 10,000 daily quota and applying moderate-to-strong community nonpharmacological interventions (NPIs), the average daily confirmed cases in the forecast period of 60 days can be well controlled at around 9 per day (95% CI: 7-12). Two main policy recommendations are drawn from the study. First, digital contact tracing would be an effective countermeasure for reducing local virus spread, especially when it is applied along with a moderate level of vaccination coverage. Second, implementing a daily quota on inbound travelers and restrictive community NPIs would further keep the local infection under control. This study offers scientific evidence and prospective guidance for developing and instituting plans to lift mandatory border control policies in preparing for the global economic recovery.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Quarantine , COVID-19 Vaccines , China , Contact Tracing , Hong Kong , Humans , Models, Theoretical , Policy , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Trans GIS ; 25(6): 2982-3001, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1307868

ABSTRACT

This study compares the space-time patterns and characteristics of high-risk areas of COVID-19 transmission in Hong Kong between January 23 and April 14 (the first and second waves) and between July 6 and August 29 (the third wave). Using space-time scan statistics and the contact tracing data of individual confirmed cases, we detect the clusters of residences of, and places visited by, both imported and local cases. We also identify the built-environment and demographic characteristics of the high-risk areas during different waves of COVID-19. We find considerable differences in the space-time patterns and characteristics of high-risk residential areas between waves. However, venues and buildings visited by the confirmed cases in different waves have similar characteristics. The results can inform policymakers to target mitigation measures in high-risk areas and at vulnerable groups, and provide guidance to the public to avoid visiting and conducting activities at high-risk places.

7.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(13)2021 06 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1288864

ABSTRACT

The impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on cause-specific mortality has been investigated on a global scale. However, less is known about the excess all-cause mortality and air pollution-human activity responses. This study estimated the weekly excess all-cause mortality during COVID-19 and evaluated the impacts of air pollution and human activities on mortality variations during the 10th to 52nd weeks of 2020 among sixteen countries. A SARIMA model was adopted to estimate the mortality benchmark based on short-term mortality during 2015-2019 and calculate excess mortality. A quasi-likelihood Poisson-based GAM model was further applied for air pollution/human activity response evaluation, namely ground-level NO2 and PM2.5 and the visit frequencies of parks and workplaces. The findings showed that, compared with COVID-19 mortality (i.e., cause-specific mortality), excess all-cause mortality changed from -26.52% to 373.60% during the 10th to 52nd weeks across the sixteen countries examined, revealing higher excess all-cause mortality than COVID-19 mortality in most countries. For the impact of air pollution and human activities, the average country-level relative risk showed that one unit increase in weekly NO2, PM2.5, park visits and workplace visits was associated with approximately 1.54% increase and 0.19%, 0.23%, and 0.23% decrease in excess all-cause mortality, respectively. Moreover, compared with the impact on COVID-19 mortality, the relative risks of weekly NO2 and PM2.5 were lower, and the relative risks of weekly park and workplace visits were higher for excess all-cause mortality. These results suggest that the estimation based on excess all-cause mortality reduced the potential impact of air pollution and enhanced the influence of human activities compared with the estimation based on COVID-19 mortality.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Epidemics , Air Pollutants/analysis , Air Pollutants/toxicity , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Air Pollution/analysis , Environmental Exposure/analysis , Human Activities , Humans , Mortality , Particulate Matter/analysis , Particulate Matter/toxicity , SARS-CoV-2
8.
ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information ; 10(6):401, 2021.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1264467

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused significantly changes in worldwide environmental and socioeconomics, especially in the early stage. Previous research has found that air pollution is potentially affected by these unprecedented changes and it affects COVID-19 infections. This study aims to explore the non-linear association between yearly and daily global air pollution and the confirmed cases of COVID-19. The concentrations of tropospheric air pollution (CO, NO2, O3, and SO2) and the daily confirmed cases between 23 January 2020 and 31 May 2020 were collected at the global scale. The yearly discrepancies of air pollutions and daily air pollution are associated with total and daily confirmed cases, respectively, based on the generalized additive model. We observed that there are significant spatially and temporally non-stationary variations between air pollution and confirmed cases of COVID-19. For the yearly assessment, the number of confirmed cases is associated with the positive fluctuation of CO, O3, and SO2 discrepancies, while the increasing NO2 discrepancies leads to the significant peak of confirmed cases variation. For the daily assessment, among the selected countries, positive linear or non-linear relationships are found between CO and SO2 concentrations and the daily confirmed cases, whereas NO2 concentrations are negatively correlated with the daily confirmed cases;variations in the ascending/declining associations are identified from the relationship of the O3-confirmed cases. The findings indicate that the non-linear relationships between global air pollution and the confirmed cases of COVID-19 are varied, which implicates the needs as well as the incorporation of our findings in the risk monitoring of public health on local, regional, and global scales.

9.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 11908, 2021 06 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1260948

ABSTRACT

Urban functional fragmentation plays an important role in assessing Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) emissions and variations. While the mediated impact of anthropogenic-emission restriction has not been comprehensively discussed, the lockdown response to the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) provides an unprecedented opportunity to meet this goal. This study proposes a new idea to explore the effects of urban functional fragmentation on NO2 variation with anthropogenic-emission restriction in China. First, NO2 variations are quantified by an Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average with external variables-Dynamic Time Warping (SARIMAX-DTW)-based model. Then, urban functional fragmentation indices including industrial/public Edge Density (ED) and Landscape Shape Index (LSI), urban functional Aggregation Index (AI) and Number of Patches (NP) are developed. Finally, the mediated impacts of anthropogenic-emission restriction are assessed by evaluating the fragmentation-NO2 variation association before and during the lockdown during COVID-19. The findings reveal negative effects of industrial ED, public LSI, urban functional AI and NP and positive effects of public ED and industrial LSI on NO2 variation based on the restricted anthropogenic emissions. By comparing the association analysis before and during lockdown, the mediated impact of anthropogenic-emission restriction is revealed to partially increase the effect of industrial ED, industrial LSI, public LSI, urban functional AI and NP and decrease the effect of public ED on NO2 variation. This study provides scientific findings for redesigning the urban environment in related to the urban functional configuration to mitigating the air pollution, ultimately developing sustainable societies.

10.
Environmental Research Letters ; 16(5), 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1223300

ABSTRACT

The massive lockdown of global cities during the COVID-19 pandemic is substantially improving the atmospheric environment, which for the first time, urban mobility is virtually reduced to zero, and it is then possible to establish a baseline for air quality. By comparing these values with pre-COVID-19 data, it is possible to infer the likely effect of urban mobility and spatial configuration on the air quality. In the present study, a time-series prediction model is enhanced to estimate the nationwide NO2 concentrations before and during the lockdown measures in the United States, and 54 cities are included in the study. The prediction generates a notable NO2 difference between the observations if the lockdown is not considered, and the changes in urban mobility can explain the difference. It is found that the changes in urban mobility associated with various road textures have a significant impact on NO2 dispersion in different types of climates.

11.
ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information ; 10(3):123, 2021.
Article in English | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-1161082

ABSTRACT

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. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information is the property of MDPI Publishing and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

12.
Sci Total Environ ; 772: 145379, 2021 Jun 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1051936

ABSTRACT

Identifying the space-time patterns of areas with a higher risk of transmission and the associated built environment and demographic characteristics during the COVID-19 pandemic is critical for developing targeted intervention measures in response to the pandemic. This study aims to identify areas with a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission in different periods in Hong Kong and analyze the associated built environment and demographic factors using data of individual confirmed cases. We detect statistically significant space-time clusters of COVID-19 at the Large Street Block Group (LSBG) level in Hong Kong between January 23 and April 14, 2020. Two types of high-risk areas are identified (residences of and places visited by confirmed cases) and two types of cases (imported and local cases) are considered. The demographic and built environment features for the identified high-risk areas are further examined. The results indicate that high transport accessibility, dense and high-rise buildings, a higher density of commercial land and higher land-use mix are associated with a higher risk for places visited by confirmed cases. More green spaces, higher median household income, lower commercial land density are linked to a higher risk for the residences of confirmed cases. The results in this study not only can inform policymakers to improve resource allocation and intervention strategies but also can provide guidance to the public to avoid conducting high-risk activities and visiting high-risk places.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Built Environment , Hong Kong , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Journal of Cleaner Production ; : 125806, 2021.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1009645

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT Restrictions on human and industrial activities due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have resulted in an unprecedented reduction in energy consumption and air pollution around the world. Quantifying the changes in environmental conditions due to government-enforced containment measures provides a unique opportunity to understand the patterns, origins and impacts of air pollutants. During the lockdown in Pakistan, a significant reduction in energy demands and a decline of ∼1,786 GWh (gigawatt hours) in electricity generation is reported. We used satellite observational data for nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), sulphur dioxide (SO2), aerosol optical depth (AOD) and land surface temperature (LST) to explore the associated environmental impacts of shifts in energy emissions across Pakistan. During the lockdown period (March 23 to April 15, 2020), we observed a reduction in NO2 emissions by 40% from coal-based power plants followed by 30% in major urban areas compared to the same period in 2019. Also, around 25% decrease in AOD (at 550 nm) thickness in the industrial and energy sectors was observed although no major decrease was evident in urban areas. Most of the industrial regions resumed emissions during the 3rd quarter of April 2020 while the urban regions maintained reduced emissions for a longer period, though a gradual increase has been observed since April 16 due to relaxations in lockdown implementations. Moreover, restrictions on transportation in the cities resulted in an evident drop in the surface urban heat island (SUHI) effect, particularly in megacities. The changes reported as well as the analytical framework provides a baseline benchmark to assess the sectoral pollution contributions to air quality, especially in the scarcity of ground-based monitoring systems across the country.

14.
Sci Total Environ ; 764: 144455, 2021 Apr 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-978443

ABSTRACT

The World Health Organization considered the wide spread of COVID-19 over the world as a pandemic. There is still a lack of understanding of its origin, transmission, and treatment methods. Understanding the influencing factors of COVID-19 can help mitigate its spread, but little research on the spatial factors has been conducted. Therefore, this study explores the effects of urban geometry and socio-demographic factors on the COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong. For each patient, the places they visited during the incubation period before going to hospital were identified, and matched with corresponding attributes of urban geometry (i.e., building geometry, road network and greenspace) and socio-demographic factors (i.e., demographic, educational, economic, household and housing characteristics) based on the coordinates. The local cases were then compared with the imported cases using stepwise logistic regression, logistic regression with case-control of time, and least absolute shrinkage and selection operator regression to identify factors influencing local disease transmission. Results show that the building geometry, road network and certain socio-economic characteristics are significantly associated with COVID-19 cases. In addition, the results indicate that urban geometry is playing a more important role than socio-demographic characteristics in affecting COVID-19 incidence. These findings provide a useful reference to the government and the general public as to the spatial vulnerability of COVID-19 transmission and to take appropriate preventive measures in high-risk areas.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Child , Female , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Spatial Analysis
15.
ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information ; 9(11):624, 2020.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-896357

ABSTRACT

Understanding the relationship between the built environment and the risk of COVID-19 transmission is essential to respond to the pandemic. This study explores the relationship between the built environment and COVID-19 risk using the confirmed cases data collected in Hong Kong. Using the information on the residential buildings and places visited for each case from the dataset, we assess the risk of COVID-19 and explore their geographic patterns at the level of Tertiary Planning Unit (TPU) based on incidence rate (R1) and venue density (R2). We then investigate the associations between several built-environment variables (e.g., nodal accessibility and green space density) and COVID-19 risk using global Poisson regression (GPR) and geographically weighted Poisson regression (GWPR) models. The results indicate that COVID-19 risk tends to be concentrated in particular areas of Hong Kong. Using the incidence rate as an indicator to assess COVID-19 risk may underestimate the risk of COVID-19 transmission in some suburban areas. The GPR and GWPR models suggest a close and spatially heterogeneous relationship between the selected built-environment variables and the risk of COVID-19 transmission. The study provides useful insights that support policymakers in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and future epidemics.

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