Currently, the world is in a pandemic situation due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic. The COVID-19 virus has suspended worldwide activities in months and has been the leading cause of death for thousands of people in cities around the world (Rodriguez et al., 2020). The COVID-19 virus has been reported as one of the deadliest viruses in the past 100 years (Lu et al., 2020).
The event of COVID-19 first occurred in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019 (Fanelli et al., 2020). Since then, it has spread beyond China to the world. COVID-19 is a new type of coronavirus and is a respiratory infection disease (Li et al., 2020). At the beginning of the outbreak, the cause of the epidemic pneumonia was unknown, but the pathogen was identified when the World Health Organization (WHO) announced on January 9, 2020 that it was the coronavirus (Yuki et al., 2020). The COVID-19 virus spreads through droplets between infected people and penetrates and is transmitted through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, mouth, and respiratory tract (Chaudhuri et al., 2020; Oldfield et al., 2020). As of July 2021, the cumulative number of infected people worldwide exceeded 180 million and the death toll exceeded 3.9 million.
South Korea has received global attention as an advanced quarantine case for actively responding to the COVID-19 virus (Team et al., 2020). Seoul is the capital of South Korea and is a metropolitan city with a population of about 10 million. The Seoul carried out the quarantine system with the highest intensity and the longest period. Therefore, we tried to reduce the transmission caused by human-to-human contact as much as possible. However, despite the high-intensity quarantine, the number of infected people is increasing the most in Seoul. As of June 29, 2021, South Korea maintains 150,000 confirmed patients, 2,000 deaths, and 600 daily confirmed patients. Considering that the total population of Korea is 51 million, this figure has an infection rate of 0.3%. And the mortality rate is 1.3% compared to the number of infected people.
Viruses are generally known to have both biological and inanimate properties (Doerbecker et al., 2011). Viruses cannot proliferate on their own without hosts and simply exist in an inanimate state of protein and nucleic acid masses (Buttner et al., 1997). Particulate matter in the air can be a carrier of viruses as well as bacteria (Carugno et al., 2018; Groulx et al., 2018; Su et al., 2019; Tao et al., 2020; Otmani et al.,2020). It is reported that PM10 and PM2.5 among air pollution plays a role in facilitating the spread of the virus (Mishra et al., 2020; Adhikari et al., 2020; Hashim et al., 2021). In a study conducted in California in the United States, studies have been conducted that air pollutants are correlated with COVID-19 (Bashir et al., 2020).
The Seoul of South Korea, is a metropolitan city with a population of 10 million and serious air pollution worldwide (Kumbhakar et al., 2021). Air pollution in Seoul is known to have a serious proportion and risk of PM10 and PM2.5 among various air pollutants (Choe et al., 2018). Therefore, it is estimated that PM10 and PM2.5 in Seoul will also affect the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and that the high concentration of PM10 and PM2.5 will be very advantageous for the spread of the COVID-19 virus However, no studies have been conducted so far on the correlation between PM10 and PM2.5 concentration in Seoul and the infection rate of COVID-19. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine the daily changes in Seoul's COVID-19 infection rate and atmospheric environmental factors through statistical correlation analysis, and use it as basic data for setting up COVID-19 prevention methods according to air quality conditions in the future.