NASA images show drop in pollution over China during coronavirus quarantine

New satellite images released by NASA and the European Space Agency show a dramatic decrease in the amount of pollution over China, as the country takes measures to limit the spread of novel coronavirus.

According to NASA, pollution monitoring satellites have detected “significant decreases” in the level of nitrogen dioxide hanging over the country, a change the agency says is “at least partly related to the economic slowdown following the outbreak of coronavirus.”

The disease caused by the virus has been formally named COVID-19. It was first detected in China late last year. In the months since, it has infected more than 87,000 people globally and has killed nearly 3,000.

The virus is believed to have originated in China’s Hubei province, in the city of Wuhan. Shortly after its discovery, Wuhan and several other cities were placed under strict quarantine in an effort to limit the spread of the virus.

Nearly 50 million people were under the lockdown, which saw mass transportation cancellations and the shuttering of schools, factories and offices.

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