Delhi has reported over 6,000 new Covid cases every day since November 3 and 13 per cent of this may be linked to increased air pollution, the IMA (Indian Medical Association) said Saturday.
The IMA advised people not to venture outdoors early morning, when pollution levels are at their highest and senior citizens and children – believed at greater risk of infection by the coronavirus – are more likely to develop infections and allergies.
“Patients who are sensitive to respiratory diseases may find it difficult to breathe if air quality levels (AQI) is between 50 and 100. An AQI of 300 makes it difficult even those who are otherwise healthy,” Dr Rajan Sharma, the president of the medical body, said.
On Saturday morning the national capital recorded an average AQI of 443; a rating of 401 or above is an indicator of “severe” pollution.
Medial experts have, for several weeks now, been harping on the link between air pollution and Covid infections and warned that unless air quality levels in Delhi and other major cities and regions of the country are brought under control, the COVID-19 virus is likely to spread further.
Last week a study by six researchers from different European institutes concluded that 17 per cent of India’s 1.26 lakh Covid-related deaths could be linked to exposure to air pollution.