Will Air Pollution Be Responsible For An Increase In COVID-19 Cases?

Does air pollution intensify Covid-19? Read on to know more

Simren Rodrigues

October 30, 2020

Trending News

3 min


Scientists have estimated that 15% of deaths from COVID-19 was caused due to prolonged exposure to air pollution. Even though in India the daily case count has dropped to a significant amount, we can’t let our guard down. With winter around the corner and an increase in the air pollution levels, experts state that the COVID-19 situation can become severe. Take a look at the news report below.

The report states that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has drawn a correlation between air pollution and COVID-19 mortality rates. The ICMR Director-General Dr Balram Bhargav said that COVID-19 along with air pollution can aggravate respiratory disorders that will lead to an increase in the mortality rates. He also quoted a study conducted at the Howard Chen Institute in Boston. According to the study, the SARS-COV-2 virus remains suspended in 2.5 particle matter in most-polluted environments. So how must we prepare?

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According to Dr Balram Bhargav, the safest option to contain the infection is the widespread adoption of wearing masks. He states that it is the only treatment against COVID-19 and increasing air pollution. Another study conducted in San Francisco on wildfires and their effect on COVID-19 mortality rates showed that the pollutants caused by the wildfire, particulate matter PM-2.5m and CO have a positive relationship with an increase in the number of SARS-COV -2 daily cases. That also includes the cumulative cases and cumulative deaths in San Francisco.

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The air pollution in India is increasing drastically. With factories and industries now opening for business after the lockdown, the air pollution levels will rise even further. Not to forget, the increase in traffic rate that in turn adds to the former. This winter, wearing a mask is the safest way to contain the spread of infections as it protects each one from both COVID-19 and air pollution. How does air pollution reduce the immune response? According to a news portal, in the lower airways, immune cells called macrophages can digest and destroy viruses and bacteria. However, when exposed to air pollution these cells are filled with particles and become ineffective against the infection.

Head over to ZEE5 for more news updates and don’t forget to wear a mask!

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