IJEP 42(5): 573-580 : Vol. 42 Issue. 5 (May 2022)
Sandeep Chand*, Shweta Mittal, Puneeta Ajmera* and Jaseela Majeed
Delhi Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research University, School of Allied Health Sciences, New Delhi – 110 017, India
Governments across the world are making considerable efforts in confronting COVID-19, from nationwide lockdowns to hygiene measures and maintaining social distancing. But at the same time, role of aerosols or/and the high concentrations of fine particulate matter or/and AQI levels in infection transmission and increasing the prevalence, morbidity and mortality of pandemic has been largely unexplored specifically in India where pollution attains peak in October and November every year. In the present study, we collected data regarding air quality index and COVID-19 determinants of four Indian cities : Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and Shillong from 1 October 2020 to 16 November 2020. We performed an analysis of variance on the regression model to estimate and quantify the strength of relationship between COVID-19 determinants and air pollution index (AQI). Results show that AQI has a significant impact on both response variables, that is COVID-19 cases as well as mortality (p<0.05 at 95% confidence level) in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore (p<0.05) but in Shillong no impact of AQI on COVID-19 cases and AQI (p=0.343), as well as deaths (p=0.664), was observed. We conclude that it is both conceivable and reasonable to suspect the role of increased AQI levels in aggravating COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. Thus, we recommend that critical meteorological conditions, like haze/smog caused by factors, like stubble burning or firing crackers should be predicted and monitored more systematically as they may lead to deterioration of respiratory problems. As the whole world is striving to fight against the deadly pandemic, it is extremely imperative to focus not only on human health as a part of response but also on global planetary health. Short term measures that can minimize supplementary risks, like adverse weather situations including pollution, poor air quality should be considered more meticulously and judiciously so that new flares of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality can be restricted.
SARS-CoV2, COVID-19, Air quality index, Air pollution, Fine particulate matter
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