Use of geospatial tools to predict the risk of contamination by SARS-CoV-2 in urban cemeteries
Artículo de revista
China University of Geosciences (Beijing) and Peking University
Urban cemeteries are increasingly surrounded by areas of high residential density as urbanization continues world-wide. With increasing rates of mortality caused by the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, urban vertical cemeteries are experiencing interments at an unprecedented rate. Corpses interred in the 3rd to 5th layer of vertical urban cemeteries have the potential to contaminate large adjacent regions. The general objective of this manuscript is to analyze the reflectance of altimetry, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and land surface temperature (LST) in the urban cemeteries and neighbouring areas of the City of Passo Fundo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. It is assumed that the population residing in the vicinity of these cemeteries may be exposed to SARS-CoV-2 contamination through the displacement of microparticles carried by the wind as a corpse is placed in the burial niche or during the first several days of subsequent fluid and gas release through the process of decomposition. The reflectance analyses were performed utilizing Landsat 8 satellite images applied to altimetry, NDVI and LST, for hypothetical examination of possible displacement, transport and subsequent deposition of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The results showed that two cemeteries within the city, cemeteries A and B could potentially transport SARS-CoV-2 of nanometric structure to neighboring residential areas through wind action. These two cemeteries are located at high relative altitudes in more densely populated regions of the city. The NDVI, which has been shown to control the proliferation of contaminants, proved to be insufficient in these areas, contributing to high LST values. Based on the results of this study, the formation and implementation of public policies that monitor urban cemeteries is suggested in areas that utilize vertical urban cemeteries in order to reduce the further spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
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