Preprint Review Version 2 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

The environmental impact of COVID-19

Version 1 : Received: 14 September 2020 / Approved: 15 September 2020 / Online: 15 September 2020 (07:59:14 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 15 September 2020 / Approved: 16 September 2020 / Online: 16 September 2020 (03:01:07 CEST)

How to cite: Ansari, M.K.A.; Owens, G.; Khan, N.I. The environmental impact of COVID-19. Preprints 2020, 2020090334 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202009.0334.v2). Ansari, M.K.A.; Owens, G.; Khan, N.I. The environmental impact of COVID-19. Preprints 2020, 2020090334 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202009.0334.v2).


COVID-19, previously known as “2019 novel coronavirus”, is a newly discovered virus which causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, similar to corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which has spread widely through human to human contact and was declared a pandemic by the WHO in March 2020. To cope with this pandemic many countries have adopted nationwide lockdowns which restrict nonessential activities and encourage their populations to avoid public transport, work from hone wherever possible, and to maintain social distancing at all times. While the severity of these shutdowns has varied with country, large geographic regions of the world (including China, India, Iran, Italy, Spain, and the USA) have all been severely affected, not just in the loss of human life, but also in terms of the financial impacts the lockdowns will have on their countries future prosperityIt was previously reported that a number of environmental factors, including humidity and temperature, played an important role in development and spread of the SARS-Corona Virus infection with the virus retaining viability for over 5 days at temperatures between 22–25oC and relative humidity (RH) of 40–50%. Whereas, elevated temperatures and higher RH (38oC, and >95% RH) decreased virus viability (Kroumpouzos et al., 2020). The spread of COVID-19 started in low temperature areas of China, with major outbreaks subsequently occurring in Iran, Japan, Northern Italy and South Korea. These new virus epicenters all had similar temperature and latitude, along the 30-50N” zone. Subsequently, the virus was spread to regions of elevated temperature, such as India, the Middle East and Thailand, due to international travel (Kroumpouzos et al., 2020).The aim of this study was to consider the environmental impact of COVID-19, including water pollution. The paper is divided into four sections. In the first section the current literature related to COVID-19 is reviewed. In the second section a recent update on COVID-19 globally is presented, followed by a descriptive impact on the environment in the third section and finally in the fourth section the COVID-19 related worldwide environmental impact is discussed. Since COVID-19 is a currently an active pandemic with no end in sight, while constructive conclusions can only be made on the limited data currently, which may be prone to high errors. However, these conclusions may provide some preliminary suggestions for assisting in assessing spreading patterns of COVID-19 across the globe, and may be of long-term significances with respect to assessing the environmental impact of lockdown policies due to COVID-19 worldwide.

Subject Areas

COVID-19; Corona virus; climate change; environmental impact; SARS-CoV-2

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 16 September 2020
Commenter: Mohd. Kafeel Ahmad Ansari
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: Dear Editors,

Thank you for your kind consideration of our recent submitted manuscript on Covid-19 to your esteemed Preprint. The following corrections are being made throughout the text:

School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Canbera, ACT 0200, Australia.

Keywords: COVID-19; Corona virus; Climate Change; Environmental Impact, SARS-CoV-2

One irrelevant Figure has been deleted from the text. Kindly correct the order of authors in online published paper at your website as given in submitted manuscript. 

We look forward to your kind consideration and publication of corrected form of our MS.

Thanks and best regards,

Mohd Kafeel Ahmad Ansari & Co-authors
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