Romanian Journal of Ecology & Environmental Chemistry
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A baseline study on mortality and air pollution in Kabyle village (northern Algeria) under COVID-19


Keywords: Correlation, COVID-19, mortality, PM2.5, Kabyle village.

The present work is a preliminary study of mortality data and fine particulate matter (≤ 2.5 µm, PM2.5) concentration in Kabyle village (northern Algeria) under COVID-19. Three epidemiological measures were used to quantify COVID-19-attributable mortality during the years 2019, 2020, 2021 and the first half of 2022, namely monthly death count, crude excess mortality (EM) and P-score (%). In addition, PM2.5 concentration was measured three times minimum in the morning (between 6:00 and 10:00 a.m.) for 2 to 25 days depending on the month, from August to October 2021 and from January to June 2022 to look for a possible correlation between air quality and monthly excess mortality. The P-score, as the most interesting parameter for comparison purposes, was found to range from approximately -67 % (in 2021, for women 65 years and older) to 133 % (in 2021, for men 65 years and older). For those under 65, the P-score is undefined, either because their EM is zero (the case in 2021 for men under 65) or because expected mortality is zero. The daily PM2.5 concentration varied from 0.5 to 150 µg/m3 during the entire observation period. A moderate positive correlation was found between monthly EM and monthly PM2.5 concentration, for women of all ages only (Kendall’s tau (τ) ~ 0.22, p = 0.00). This work could inspire other larger studies, which should include, for example, all the 23 villages of the municipality, considering other air pollution parameters with, in addition, a more consequent recording frequency.