Increasing pollution levels may lead to increased Covid-19 cases in Delhi, adjoining areas: Experts – more way of life

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The increasing pollution levels in Delhi and adjoining areas may contribute to the increase in Covid-19 cases and deaths because of the virus, experts said on Tuesday. Speaking at the Union Health Ministry’s press convention, Dr. VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, and Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General (DG ) of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) agreed that increasing pollution around the national capital and adjoining areas may lead to increase in Coronavirus cases.

“We have heard that the effect of the disease may increase with the increased pollution, but we are yet to are aware of it fully,” said Dr Paul. Answering a question, Dr Bhargava also agreed with Dr Paul and said pollution might be a contributing factor to mortality in Covid-19 infection. “There have been studies from Europe and the United States, where they’ve looked at polluted areas and have compared mortality all over lockdown and correlation with pollution, and found clearly that pollution is contributing to mortality in Covid, that’s polite established by studies,” ICMR chief said.

Air quality deteriorates in the national capital with the upward thrust of pollutants in the atmosphere and overall Delhi’s Air Quality Index (AQI) is in the “very bad” category, said the Delhi Pollution Keep watch over Committee data on Tuesday. Dr Arvind Kumar, Chairman of Centre for Chest Surgery Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, in an earlier interplay with ANI said that people having pre-existing lung ailments are more vulnerable to catch Covid-19 infection, and subsequently, they must be additional careful. Dr Vikash Maurya, Head of Respiratory medicine branch at Fortis Hospital also said that with the Covid-19 crisis, pollution is going to be a big challenge this year. “This is only the start of air pollution. Air quality has already transform bad and will worse in the coming days. Its side-effect would be seen after the Diwali celebration and extreme winters. The secret is- we must be cautious now as this time we have Covid-19 crisis too and this is going to be a very big challenge for all of us,” said Dr Maurya.

According to an ICMR study, approximately 4 lakh deaths in India in 2017 were because of air pollution, which included 6.7 lakh deaths because of outside particulate matter air pollution and 4.8 lakh deaths because of household air pollution. The highest PM2.5 exposure level was once in Delhi, followed by the other north Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Haryana.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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