It has been more than a half year when the sudden outbreak of corona virus disease has created a threat to human lives. This deadly virus has taken 1M lives all over the world and still counting. We have still no vaccine or medicine to fight with this deadly virus, the only thing which we can do is to protect ourselves by practising social distancing, wearing a mask and taking immune strengthening supplements. But in between of crisis time, another depressing connection between air pollution and corona virus has been identified in many research and studies, which increases the uncertainty among people and the global leaders.
IS AIR POLLUTION RESPONSIBLE FOR DEATHS DUE TO COVID-19? –
Coronavirus has indeed caused a huge threat in the world, making it a global health concern. But we are suffering from the threat of air pollution from last few decades and we know that how air pollution increases the risk of health complexities such as lung cancer, asthma, cardiovascular diseases and other respiratory diseases.
When we look at the cause of deaths due to Corona virus it comes out that this deadly virus mainly attacks the respiratory organs and the immune system of the human body. The high level of air pollution affects the respiratory functions and makes the immune system weaker which plays a crucial role in deaths. There is no doubt that air pollution is making the pandemic situation worst.
WHAT DOES THE RECENT REPORTS SAYS ABOUT IT’S CONNECTION? –
A recent study of NICB indicates that the corona virus may remain viable in aerosol for some hours. And the areas which were worst affected by COVID-19 outbreak worldwide such as cities of Italy, Spain, U.S.A and other countries, it is found that air pollutants concentrations of that place are extensively surpassed the maximum limits. The chronic exposure to air pollutants has been associated with lung ACE-2 over-expression which is known to be the main receptor for SARS-CoV-2.
The Harvard University, USA’s research report suggests that the most polluted place has the highest number of death rates. And the people who are living in polluted cities are 50 % more likely to die with the COVID-19. Air Pollution is playing a crucial role in making corona infections more deadly. These research are alarming and eye-opening.
One another research by Dan Dong University, China reveals that the long term exposure to air pollution attacks the human immune system and damages the lungs or more precisely the cilia of the lungs, which are the first-line defence against inhaled germs can make much easier for pathogens like coronavirus to advance the lungs.
WAY FORWARD –
As the whole world is facing a steep rise and in many countries are facing the second wave of the COVID cases, it is critical to employ all reasonable strategies to decrease transmission and to lower the number of severe infections which burden the health care system. So far, the spread of the pandemic has occurred during spring and summer when air pollution is relatively mild, but the interaction of high winter pollution levels with Covid-19 infections can have serious consequences because during cold the air pulls downward and so the toxic pollutant concentration can more seriously affect the respiratory organs.
There are of course multiple factors that influence severely the corona virus strikes, but, the environment plays a significant role. We have to understand if we take care of the environment, it will take care of us and if we don’t the corona virus pandemic may be the beginning of the series of other damages. We all had witnessed a clean environment and pure air during the lockdown and to let that situation lasts longer we have to take some necessary steps such as:-
- The shift from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy that are less polluting such as windmills, solar panels etc.
- The shift from diesel and petrol-based chemicals to an electric vehicle or public transportation facilities
- Reduce the use of Plastics instead of that use eco-friendly jute or clothing carry bag
- Always practice 3R’s
- Reduce the use of coal and other fossil fuels in factories