Special Issue on COVID-19 Aerosol Drivers, Impacts and Mitigation (IV)

Shun Wan1, Kangping Cui This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1, Ya-Fen Wang2, Jhong-Lin Wu This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.3,4, Wei-Syun Huang5, Kaijie Xu1, Jiajia Zhang1


1 School of Resources and Environmental Engineering, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230009, China
2 Department of Environmental Engineering, Chung-Yuan Christian University, Taoyuan 32023, Taiwan
3 Environmental Resource and Management Research Center, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70101, Taiwan
4 Sustainable Environment Research Laboratories, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70101, Taiwan
5 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, National Central University, Taoyuan 32001, Taiwan


Received: July 1, 2020
Revised: July 22, 2020
Accepted: July 22, 2020

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.07.0364 

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Cite this article:

Wan, S., Cui, K., Wang, Y.F., Wu, J.L., Huang, W.S., Xu, K. and Zhang, J. (2020). Impact of the COVID-19 Event on Trip Intensity and Air Quality in Southern China. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20: 1727–1747. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.07.0364


  • The impact of COVID-19 event on trip intensity and air quality were studied.
  • The characteristics of AQI during the epidemic control periods were investigated.
  • Indicatory air pollutants of different AQI classes were presented and discussed.
  • The characteristics of the wind streamline and speed in three cities were studied.


The COVID-19 epidemic discovered and reported at the end of December 2019 and began spreading rapidly around the world. The impact of the COVID-19 event on the trip intensity, AQI (air quality index), and air pollutants, including PM2.5, PM10, SO2, CO, NO2, and O3 in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Foshan (the so-called ‘three cities’) from January 12 to March 27, in 2019 and 2020, are compared and discussed. In 2020, the combined trip intensity in the three cities ranged between 0.73 and 5.54 and averaged 2.57, which was 28.4% lower than that in 2019. In terms of the combined AQIs for the three cities, from January 12 to March 26, 2020, the daily AQIs ranged between 21.0 and 121.3 and averaged 56.4, which was 16.0% lower than that in 2019. The average AQIs in order were Guangzhou (57.5) > Foshan (54.1) > Shenzhen (44.1). In 2019, the distribution proportions of the six AQI classes were 45.2%, 50.4%, 4.40%, 0%, 0%, and 0%, respectively, while those in 2020 were 62.7%, 37.3%, 0%, 0%, 0% and 0%, respectively. For the combined data for the three cities, on the top five days with the highest AQIs during the epidemic period, the average concentrations of PM2.5, PM10, SO2, CO, NO2, and O3 were 76.4 μg m–3, 113.4 μg m–3, 5.14 ppb, 0.88 ppm, 36.5 ppb and 55.5 ppb, which were 55.2%, 49.4%, 55.1%, 30.0%, 45.1% and 15.5% lower than those during the non-epidemic period (from January 12 to March 27, 2017–2019). The above results revealed that the comprehensive strict epidemic prevention and control actions reduced trip intensity and improved the air quality significantly.

Keywords: COVID-19; Trip intensity; AQI; PM2.5; PM10; SO2; CO; NO2; O3.

Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20:1727-1747. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.07.0364 

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