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© UN Environment Management Group (27/04/2021)

Covid-19 and environment

SDG 3 SDG 4 SDG 13 SDG 14 SDG 15

The outbreak of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) first emerged at the end of December 2019, from the Hunan seafood market in Wuhan City of China, and declared as an international public health emergency in a couple of weeks by the World Health Organization,(WHO, 2020a). It is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2, (SARS-CoV-2) (Islam et al., 2020; Nghiem et al., 2020; Wang et al., 2020).
The global disruption caused by the COVID-19 has brought about several effects on the environment and climate. Due to movement restriction and a significant slowdown of social and economic activities, air quality has improved in many cities with a reduction in water pollution in different parts of the world. Besides, increased use of PPE (e.g., face mask, hand gloves etc.), their haphazard disposal, and generation of a huge amount of hospital waste has negative impacts on the environment.

Steven Stone
Chief of UN Environment's Resources & Markets Branch (R&M), UNEP
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