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We are happy to bring to you the daily issue of our e-newsletter "Prayavaran Times".
This is an electronic documentation of news and features  on various environment and wildlife issues, appearing in English news dailies in India.
It is an attempt to compile and reiterate the important conservation concerns of our society.  
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Preeti Kashyap


Saturday, July 3, 2021
Air pollution helps Covid cause more chaos: Researchers
Correspondent :
CHENNAI: In a first-of-its-kind study, Indian researchers have found a correlation between air pollution, the spread of Covid-19, and resulting deaths. Chennai, among major metropolitan cities that reported the most Covid-19 cases, had the highest PM2.5 emission load.

The study, titled ‘Establishing a link between fine particulate matter (PM2.5) zones and COVID-19 over India based on anthropogenic emission sources and air quality data’, provided the first evidence for India on the vulnerability of people in highly-polluted areas to Covid-19. It used the first nation-wide high-resolution emission inventory of tiny particle PM2.5, which accounts for all sources of air pollutants.

People in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, which are home to pollution hotspots with PM2.5 levels above the permissible limit, are likely to have a 15 per cent higher chance of dying of Covid-19, and are also more likely to contract the virus, the study shows.As per official data, PM2.5 emission in Tamil Nadu is 482.36 Giga gram (Gg) per year, which translates to 4.82 lakh tonnes. Tamil Nadu is among the top 10 emitters in the country. Chennai witnessed 60 moderately-polluted days in 2019 and recorded 2,07,197 Covid-19 cases and 3,713 deaths. Besides, there have been allegations of massive underreporting of deaths.

“Bad air quality days have a visible relationship with the number of Covid-19 casualties. There’s an exponential increase in the number of casualties once the number of bad air quality days crosses 100,” the study said.Saroj Kumar Sahu, lead author of the report and assistant professor at Utkal University, told Express data related to emissions, air quality and Covid-19 cases and deaths in 721 districts in India till November 5 last year were studied. “The study is the first of its kind to evaluate the relation between PM2.5 emission loads through the newly-developed national emission inventory of PM2.5 for 2019 and Covid cases in India.

A reliable high-resolution gridded (10x10 km) inventory was developed, which when superimposed on district level Covid-19 positive cases, clearly illustrates that emission hotspots are experiencing more Covid-19 cases,” Sahu said.

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