ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLLUTION RESEARCH, vol.29, no.45, pp.68269-68279, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)
The dilemma between health concerns and the economy is apparent in the context of strategic decision making during the pandemic. In particular, estimating the patient numbers and achieving an informed management of the dilemma are crucial in terms of the strategic decisions to be taken. The Covid-19 pandemic presents an important case in this context. Sustaining the efforts to cope with and to put an end to this pandemic requires investigation of the spread and infection mechanisms of the disease, and the factors which facilitate its spread. Covid-19 symptoms culminating in respiratory failure are known to cause death. Since air quality is one of the most significant factors in the progression of lung and respiratory diseases, it is aimed to estimate the number of Covid-19 patients corresponding to the pollutant parameters (PM10, PM2.5, SO2, NOX, NO2, CO, O-3) after determining the relationship between air pollutant parameters and Covid-19 patient numbers in Turkey. For this purpose, artificial neural network was used to estimate the number of Covid-19 patients corresponding to air pollutant parameters in Turkey. To obtain highest accuracy levels in terms of network architecture structure, various network structures were tested. The optimal performance level was developed with 15 neurons combined with one hidden layer, which achieved a network performance level as high as 0.97342. It was concluded that Covid-19 disease is affected from air pollutant parameters and the number of patients can be estimated depending on these parameters by this study. Since it is known that the struggle against the pandemic should be handled in all aspects, the result of the study will contribute to the establishment of environmental decisions and precautions.